Melbourne man $44m richer after winning same lottery twice

SINGAPORE - A Melbourne man won more than A$46 million (S$44.3 million) after winning the same lottery twice, Australian media reported.

The man, from the city's St Albans suburb, won two of the three main prizes in Tuesday's (March 26) A$70 million Oz Lotto draw.

The man had marked both entries with the same numbers, which he has been doing for three decades, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Wednesday.

Both tickets, each worth A$23.3 million, had the same marked numbers. The man bought the tickets separately at two different outlets in Melbourne.

"I'm speechless. I can't believe it," he told lottery officials when they finally managed to track him down.

Oz Lotto spokesman Bronwyn Spencer told The Age: "When we reached out to the division one winner from Melbourne to let him know he'd won this massive prize, he was completely oblivious to the fact he'd won not once, but twice."

"Quite remarkably, the Melbourne man didn't realise he'd bought two entries. He thought he'd bought an entry for a different lottery draw. But because he marks his entries, he marked them with the same numbers that came out of the barrel tonight, which meant he won division one twice."

The man said he had been playing the same marked numbers for 30 years, the Sydney Morning Herald said.

"I play every week. I have always marked my entries but I have never chosen the numbers on anything in particular. They weren't special before, but they are now," he said.

The man said he needed time to think about how he would use his double prize.

"I need time for the news to register," he said. "I might think about retiring. First maybe a new home or a holiday. I'll definitely share it with my family."

Ms Spencer said the man would have spent roughly A$30,000 over the last three decades by entering every Tuesday.

The other winner of the division one prize remained a mystery, Ms Spencer said.

The winner netted more than A$23 million in Tuesday's draw after buying a ticket in Hobart. The unregistered ticket was sold at Hobart City Lotto at Argyle Street, but the winner cannot be contacted, the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Ms Spencer as saying.