Each year, we celebrate Endeavour Foundation’s humble beginnings on the verandah of a grand old Brisbane home, by giving away a timeless Queenslander in our Anniversary Prize Home lottery.
Like those Queensland families that dared to imagine what’s possible back in 1951, our Anniversary Prize Home winners have seen their dreams come true.
Here are just a few of their stories:
It was a decade ago, but 60th Anniversary Prize Home winner, Ruth*, recalls the shock win like it was yesterday.
“I came home, and my husband had the house in an uproar because he couldn’t find the ticket, so we had to get a stat dec to say who we were.”
Ruth and James travelled to Queensland for the handover of their new heritage-styled home, and then returned soon after for a hinterland holiday.
“Maleny was a beautiful spot. We went and stayed there for two weeks at Christmastime and it was absolutely gorgeous. You’d stand out on the balcony and count the cows.”
As much as they loved their new Queenslander, their lives and family were in South Australia.
“It was a beautiful home, it really and truly was, but all my family is down here,” Ruth said.
“We were on the aged pension, so it helped us so much. We renovated the house, bought new furniture and a new car. And that’s made our life absolutely fantastic!”
Ruth and her husband James had been buying tickets in Endeavour Foundation Prize Home lotteries for seventeen years before they won.
“You support these organisations, never, ever thinking you would win,” Ruth said.
In fact, the couple have also supported another local charity for the same number of years and “we’ve won two bottles wine in all that time!” she laughed.
“We never thought we would win a house in our wildest dreams. It really made our life very, very comfortable.”
Another ten years on, and Ruth and James are still buying tickets.
“We are still supporting the Endeavour Foundation because I think it is a really good cause.”
“The tickets come in and I think ‘That’s a beautiful house’ and then I put the tickets in the drawer. If it comes up, good luck, and if it doesn’t, good luck to somebody else.”
*Winner’s name has been changed for privacy reasons.
For Bronwyn from Adelaide, winning Endeavour Foundation’s 2015 Anniversary Prize Home, enabled her to live a life-long dream.
After enjoying time in her stunning new Sunshine Coast hinterland home and exploring the area, Bronwyn decided that “Adelaide was a bit too far from Maleny for weekend visits” and decided to put the property on the market.
Bronwyn used the proceeds from her windfall to create the home of her dreams back home in South Australia.
“I used the money to buy an old original ‘return verandah villa’ in Adelaide and renovate it,” Bronwyn said.
It’s probably not something I would have done if I hadn’t won the house, but it was always a dream to do it, so I thought, well, let’s go.”
“I was lucky to find this place where no work had been done to it and we could just start from scratch.”
The extensive project became a labour of love for Bronwyn, who painstakingly worked to revive the heritage villa.
“It took two years and I got really involved and stripped back doors. It was a major, major extension and renovation, but it’s finished now and it’s lovely.”
Bronwyn, who has a nephew with spina bifida, has been buying tickets for over 30 years.
“The first ticket I bought was back in about 1987. We lived in New Guinea on Bougainville and I came through Brisbane and somewhere in my travels there was someone selling tickets. So, I bought one and I have been buying them ever since.”
“Every anniversary I buy an extra $100 worth of tickets because that’s how I won. Not from my tickets that were sent to me, but I went and bought extra tickets and it was one of the extra tickets that won.”
For Tom and Kerri Anne, winning Endeavour Foundation’s 68th Anniversary Prize Home in 2019 has set them up perfectly for retirement.
After receiving the keys, Tom and Kerri Anne tested out their luxurious Montville Queenslander before deciding that they would make the move for good.
“We used to do the weekends up and back. You had to be sure you’re doing the right thing so we took our time and we thought, ‘This one will do us’,” he laughed.
“We were living at Mt Glorious, and we actually ended up selling up there and we totally shifted up here since June, so we have been up here about eight months now as our permanent residence.”
“I love it here. It’s a beautiful area and it’s a new house so there’s not a great deal to do – everything’s there for you ready made,” Tom said.
When asked what his favourite thing was about the house, Tom couldn’t narrow it down to just one.
“The thing is about this home is that you’ve always got a breeze coming through the house.”
“The media room is great – I love that. The kitchen is fantastic, the bedrooms are big, the ensuite too, you could just go on and on.”
Tom and Kerri Anne knew their new neighbourhood well, having explored the village of Montville many times over the years.
“We used to come up here for a day trip, like everybody did, and go through the shops and ‘do lunch’ as they say.”
“And we’d always go and look at the Prize Homes around the area.
Tom and Kerrie-Anne would buy $50 worth of tickets each time they visited a Prize Home and dream about what it would be like if they won.
And then, one day, they actually did.
“We didn’t have to spend a fortune, but we won it,” he laughed.
Before the win, Tom was working at Bunnings full-time and still paying off a mortgage.
“Now we’re out of debt which is really good, and I’ll soon be dropping down to two days a week,” he said.
“The wife doesn’t work at all, so she’s already retired. I’m 65 now and I can’t retire until I am 66 and a half so I was thinking two days a week for the next year and a half will be a good work balance.”
Winning an Endeavour Prize Home has allowed Tom and Kerri Anne to live their dreams.