Former undertaker Carlos Massetti was at his lowest ebb, after a bitter marriage break-up, when he was given a new lease of life – the sort people down on their luck can only dream about!
Carlos' System 11 entry won Lotto's $1 million division one prize on Monday May 7, before he picked up another $1.457 million five days later, when Carlos tried his luck in Lotto again. If that wasn't incredible enough, he won another $48,000 in a Powerball draw 12 days later.
"I broke down in tears when I won the $1 million," he says, explaining how after he checked his numbers on a Lotto app, he had to wait 12 long and sleepless hours to speak to The Lott to "double-check the app wasn't playing up".
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"It wasn't just because I won Lotto. I'd been through hell the last couple of months after my marriage ended. I'd lost the matrimonial home, my pets... the break-up was completely my fault, but I was still left heartbroken."
If it wasn't for his friendly newsagent, Carlos may not have had the winning numbers the first time around. He wanted to change his quick pick numbers until the newsagent talked him out of it.
"He was happy enough to change it for me, but at the last minute he said, 'I think you should keep the ticket.' And I did," explains Carlos, who presented his guardian angel newsagent with a bottle of French champagne the following day.
Fast-forward five days and he struck the jackpot again, after his numbers managed to come up on a System 10 entry, which earned him $1.457 million.
"I was calmer this time," says Carlos, revealing he'd splashed out up to $4000 on both of his winning tickets.
"I sat down in the peace and quiet and I took it all in... I reflected on my marriage and my break-up and how this would allow me to move on with life."
When he rang The Lott to confirm his second win, a rep called Bronnie – who he was now on first-name terms with – couldn't believe he'd done it again.
"It's unheard of," she told Carlos. "I don't know of anyone winning twice in one week!"
The soft-spoken Bondi man initially refused to make his identity public. But he changed his mind last week after pledging $50,000 to Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital, so it could buy a vital piece of equipment. He hopes this will encourage other people to share their wealth.
"I'm not stupid or naive. I know I'm going to have a lot of people asking for money, and it's not about being a smart-arse or a show-off," he says. "But I would like to see some other Lotto winners do the right thing and maybe this will inspire them."