Opinion: A people with practical dreams

Strewth! We’ve won the lottery, love. Quick, get a haircut and buy a kitten. Pop the ticket into a Tupperware container and put it in the freezer where we won’t lose it.

Okay. So that’s a bit over-the-top. I’m not taking the mickey. I’m as Australian as you are.

But these are actual things Australians have done when their numbers came up. Their lucky numbers that is.

If you have spent time standing in line behind a big bloke in thongs, a young miner, a hassled mum and a zhooshed-up (I had to look up Dr Google for that one) admin-type fella in the line to put your lottery ticket in, you will have a bit of an idea of just who is waiting for their lucky day.

And believe it or not, sometimes that lucky day arrives.

We see ads about it all the time. Young, reasonable-looking types admiring the view from deckchairs on their private island, or arriving by helicopter to their rooftop private garden in the city. I haven’t seen that big bloke in thongs on any ad yet.

But let me tell you what he might have done with the cash.

The Lott – Australia’s Official Lotteries (apparently we don’t call it Lotto any more) – has sent out a release revealing what division one winners from the past three years have done with their dosh.

Because when it comes right down to it, after you’ve bought your island, how are you going to pay the rates? Is there money left to fly out regularly to see your mum? Where do you get your Weet-Bix?

In our beautiful Aussie way, these winners were going about the ordinary fabric of their lives when they discovered things were never going to be the same again. One winner was hanging out the washing, another couple were watching the cricket, and a Newcastle bloke found his ticket while cleaning out the car.

Turns out we are simple people with practical dreams. A young man from Darwin who found himself a multi-millionaire used the opportunity to get a haircut. A NSW winner, who had cast a speculative eye on the house next door while taking out the bins, found his dream within reach.

One woman from Victoria promptly bought a kitten – and a house to put it in.

Most wonderful are the stories of the bloke who bought his mate a 4WD, and those who were able to help out local causes. Money mightn’t buy happiness, but it can help fund a few Aussie dreams.