Have you always wondered how you’d respond if you were told you had won a million-dollar Sunshine Coast Prize Home?
For ‘born and bred’ Victorian, Gary, it was a full-body experience.
“My whole body went tingly, and I said to myself, ‘This is one of the best moments of your life, don’t have a heart attack now!” he laughed.
Gary was out the front of his home with his grandchildren when he received the call that would change his life.
“It was just an unbelievable phone call… the call you dream about getting all your life!
“My grandchildren were trying to get me to kick the footy, but I wasn’t worried about that at that stage!” Gary laughed.
“You wonder what the feeling is when you get a phone call like that and now, I know. It’s unbelievable!” he smiled.
Showing impressive restraint, Gary waited to receive the email from Endeavour Lotteries to confirm that he had indeed won before calling his wife, Sandy, who just happened to be overseas trekking with friends on Flinders Island.
When Gary told her he was $1.8 million dollars richer, Sandy screamed in shock before sharing the news with her confused trekking group.
“It was the talk of the trail for the rest of the trek,” Sandy laughed.
“Everybody was saying, ‘It’s just so nice to hear of people that win’, and ‘It’s really nice to know that it goes to nice people’.”
“I was really humbled by it,” Sandy smiled.
That buzz of excitement has travelled throughout Gary and Sandy’s entire winner’s journey and has shown that sharing the joy with the people around you can make the whole experience even more special.
“Everyone we’ve told about the win has spread it around. I’m a member of a gym and people come up to me and say, ‘Oh really, you won that Endeavour lottery?’ and then they’re buying tickets in the next lottery.”
Even on the flight to Brisbane, after telling a flight attendant that they were on the way to receive the keys to an Endeavour Foundation Prize Home, the whole crew shared in the couple’s happiness.
“They all made sure that they individually came up and said congratulations,” Sandy said.
“Good news generates happiness – it went to the captain; then it went to every flight attendant on that flight – and it gets the moment going. Then two glasses of champagne suddenly appeared, and everyone was very excited for us.”
But as good as the journey was to finally reach handover day, nothing could compare to seeing the home in person for the first time.
“It’s far, far better than I thought it would be because now you can feel it and touch it. There’s so much to take in… the house, and the garden, and jet skis.”
“What Endeavour Foundation has done to present this home, with its furniture, the paintings, the garden, it’s 12 out of 10. I knew it was going to be a beautiful home, but this is far better than what I expected.” Gary said.
“I’ve watched the video several times showing friends at home but walking through it and seeing more than the video shows – it’s another level – it’s a beautiful house and I feel very blessed. Everything about it is perfect,” added Sandy.
“At one stage, we weren’t sure what we were going to do – whether we were going to keep it or sell it – so we had an agent come through and she was blown away on how it came up once Endeavour had put their touches to it,” Gary said.
But now that the couple have taken the time to consider all their options, they have decided to keep the home and enjoy it.
“We’re both virtually retired so we will come up as often as we can and if family want to go up there, they can enjoy it too. I’ll just give them the keys.”
And the next time Gary and Sandy have the family up for a visit, they’re looking forward to getting the jet skis out on the water and sharing in the fun together.
“We’ve got four boys and they all love that sort of thing. They range from 37 down to 33 and we’ve got four grandchildren as well,” he said.
“My older son – all he’s wanted his life is a jet ski. And now the family has got two!”
“It’s going to do my heart good to see the family on the beach and the grandkids enjoying the jet skis and having good family times.”
So, as it turns out, winning an Endeavour Foundation Prize Home lottery will be good for Gary’s heart after all.
“I’ve been supporting Endeavour for a long, long time and this is my dream come true,” Gary smiled.
“Anyone out there, buy a ticket. It’s a fantastic cause and I am living proof you can win.”