What would you do if faced with choosing between $600,000 in cashable gold bullion, a luxury boat package, or a brand new 4×4 and off-road caravan plus $300,000 in gold?
For RK from Aroona, the winner of Endeavour Foundation’s ‘Ultimate Life Changer’ lottery, the decision was easy.
“There was no doubt for me,” said RK. Although I had three options to choose from, I never really thought about the other two options.”
RK’s chosen package, the Toyota Prado Kakadu 2.8L Diesel and Kedron CP5 Compact Caravan (plus $300k in gold bullion) was worth far more to him than the $600,000 prize value.
With the current boom in travelling Australia, and new car and caravan wait times sitting at well over the 12-month mark, being able to drive away with his new rig in a little over four weeks was worth its weight in gold.
“Everybody I’ve been talking to, they say, ‘you lucky bugger, we’ve been waiting for 16 months for our caravan’. Or they’ve ordered three months ago, or four months ago, and they won’t be getting it till March or April next year and they say, ‘how did you manage that?’”
It has been a very tough couple of years for RK, dealing with his beloved wife’s passing as well as a serious health scare that saw him undergo surgery followed by a five-week stay in hospital.
By his side through all of it (except for the hospital stint) was Jack, his little four-legged bestie and travelling companion.
Now, thanks to his win, and his surgeon, RK has a new lease on life and is looking forward to getting out and making the most of his amazing prize.
Having already owned a Kedron caravan and travelling extensively to the far corners of Australia with his wife, and Jack, he is well aware of just how good the package he’s won really is.
“We did all our travels in our van and really enjoyed the last ten years. That’s why I was so attached to my Kedron caravan.”
But having decided it was time to downsize to a smaller van, his new Kedron Compact Caravan is exactly what the doctor ordered.
“I was at the caravan park at Woodgate in September, and I was sitting there with friends and my sister, and I said, ‘I think the caravan is a bit too big for me. I don’t need a big one anymore.”
Looking over at a more compact Kedron caravan, he said, “That looks really good.”
And in an incredible turn of fate, it was on the journey home from Woodgate that RK got the call from Endeavour Foundation to say he’d won the new Kedron caravan, just like the one he’d had his eye on.
“It was just unbelievable! I was just thinking about the whole scenario to sell the other one and then I get a call,” he said.
“When I received the call, my car that I was driving had a number plate that was triple eight which I always considered lucky. So, I thought that was part of my luck,” he said.
“We used to live and work in Taiwan for quite a while, so I know how lucky the number eight is.”
RK has now fitted personalised number plates to his new 4×4 and caravan featuring the lucky number eight to bring an extra bit of good fortune as he begins his adventures.
The first stop with his new rig was Rocky Point Retreat on Baffle Creek, north of Bundaberg. It was the last place RK camped with his wife, and, fittingly, it was the first place he and Jack visited to test out the new van.
“With sun, and with rain, and with storms, and with everything, it was an absolute sensation – it’s well built, very solid.”
The Prado has been equally as impressive.
“I probably don’t know 80% of what that car can do. It will take a long time until I learn all of the buttons and switches and bits but driving with the caravan is amazing.”
RK credits his win to his carefully considered ticket purchasing strategy, or perhaps a bit of divine intervention.
“I thought this time I’ll do it differently and I won’t buy one package of tickets. So, I split it into three with a week in between. I had three packages of tickets with three different packages of numbers, and I totally believe that did the trick.
“But then, on the other hand, you can be a bit spiritual and say my wife is watching over me and she was the one to pull the number.”
Whichever way you look at it, RK knows he’s a ‘lucky man’, just like his favourite song by 70s group, Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
“Lucky in every regard,” he said.
RK is now planning his next adventures and looking forward to what lies ahead.
“I have some ideas. I have picked up some friends over the years in our travels who live in the Barossa Valley, or Western Victoria or Western Australia. And my daughter lives in Melbourne who I haven’t seen in ages.”
One thing is for certain, he and Jack will be taking their new off-road rig off the beaten track.
“That’s my favourite,” he said.
“We enjoyed going to the furthermost remote, outback areas of Australia. And that’s what I will be doing this time too.
“I’ll just pack everything and go.”