I walked around with £1.8m in my pocket before my numbers came up on New Year’s lottery – my winning strategy was key

The chance of winning a top prize on a standard $5 Instant Scratch-It is one in 750,000. Australian scratch cards (Supplied/The Lott)

A LUCKY woman who scooped £1.8million in a New Year’s Eve draw has revealed her lotto-winning strategy.

The winners of a huge £22.5million jackpot were announced on Saturday – with 12 winners splitting the cash and taking home just over £1.8million each.

One lucky prize-holder kicked off the new year as a millionaire

Of the dozen winners, four were from Queensland, four from Victoria, three from New South Wales and one from Western Australia.

One of the lucky prize-holders was a woman from Springfield in Queensland who kicked off the new year as a millionaire.

She said she “almost had a panic attack” after realising the golden ticket had been sitting in her wallet for two weeks.

And she has now revealed her winning strategy.

She said she sourced the money for her ticket from a recent Instant Scratch-It win.

“It’s funny because we bought some Instant Scratch-Its tickets and I won about $50 on those,” she said.

“I bought this Lotto ticket using those winnings.

“It was just a spur-of-the-moment decision to get this ticket because I’d won on the Scratchie.

“I’ve had this ticket sitting in my wallet for about two weeks.”

The woman said she checked her winning ticket at around 1am on New Year’s Day.

She said: “I was almost having a panic attack – I couldn’t breathe!”

She told The Lott she was going to use the cash to help her family – and perhaps buy a new house.

“And maybe go on a holiday,” she said.

“There’s a few things on the list.”

The woman bought the ticket at Nextra Orion, on Main Street in Springfield.

Store owner Vivek Ganesh said: “Seeing a win land in the outlet makes it all so real.

“During the past nine years, we’ve sold four top prize-winning Instant Scratch-Its tickets and this is our third division one-winning Gold Lotto entry.

“It’s great to have another one.”

Another winner of the same draw said he and his wife didn’t sleep after finding out they’d won.

He said: “Normally I don’t really check my ticket straight away, but on Saturday night I thought I’d have a quick look.

“Then I started scrolling, and I could see all six numbers lit up. I told my wife, and we checked the ticket together.

The lucky man called the moment “surreal”, and credits his wife for picking the winning numbers.

The Forest Lake winner plans to use the win to help pay off his mortgage and help his children.

He said: “We want to give them a foot up in life.”

The Loganholme woman who had bought two tickets in the £22 million draw said she won £20 on one and scored $2million on the other. 

She said: “It was a nice surprise! A good way to start the New Year.”

Anyone who purchased an entry into the Gold Lotto New Year’s Eve draw in Australia is urged to check their tickets.

The winning numbers in Saturday’s Gold Lotto draw 4325 on December 31 were 11, 23, 35, 42, 20 and 45.

The supplementary numbers were 8 and 38.

In Cambridge, locals are searching for a Tesco customer who left behind his winning ticket in a shopping trolley.

Richard Haslop was milling around the aisle of his local store in Cambridge when his wife made the surprise discovery.

The search for the elusive winner in Cambridge is still ongoing.

In the UK, any cash that isn’t claimed after a total of 180 days from a game played in the UK goes to National Lottery projects across the country.

Folks in Ireland have just half that time to claim too, with only 90 days before the prize money is off the table.

Once the claim period is over, the ticket officially expires and the owner of the lottery ticket will no longer be able to claim any of their winnings.