Broadwater man hits $240,000 jackpot
By SHAN GOODWIN firstname.lastname@example.org
IF EVER there was a bloke who deserved a break, it was Broadwater truck driver Len Newton.
He's held a full-time job since the day he turned 14 and 16-hour days are nothing unusual.
But scoring $240,000 in a Keno jackpot win at the Ballina RSL Club on Friday night is not likely to change him much.
He won't be asking his boss for fewer hours.
"No way. I'd be bored. You can only play so much golf and I've given up trying to fish," he said.
Mr Newton's nine-number Keno jackpot was the biggest recorded at the Ballina RSL Club.
"Every Friday night I call into the club for a few drinks and spend $100 on Keno and use the same numbers," he said.
"I didn't pick them for any special reason. I've just stuck with them for the past two years.
"This week I left before the games were finished."
When Mr Newton called back into the club the next day, the club's entertainment and promotions manager, Kevin Hanns, told him someone had won more than $10,000 on Keno and not yet claimed it.
"I said 'Fair dinkum, better check my ticket', and there it was flashing up that I'd won," Len said.
Was he excited?
"I'm not the excitable type. I woke up to myself a long time ago," he said.
But Mr Hanns certainly was.
"It's great to see the jackpot go to a local. We've had a lot of tourists here because of the school holidays so we've been on tenterhooks waiting to see who would present the winning ticket," he said.
The club's last big Keno win was just over $40,000 a year ago and its Keno Jackpot winnings for seven to nine number bets is now totalling almost $700,000.
Mr Newton, who drives a semi-trailer for Dungarubba garden mulch company Gollandra, said his truck won't be getting anything new thanks to the windfall.
"I've got air-con already ? I just wind down the windows," he said.
And he won't be buying the place he rents at Broadwater.
He likes to be able to pack up and move quickly if someone annoys him.
A new ride-on lawn mower is the only thing he has planned at this stage.
There was a million-dollar Keno jackpot winner at the Byron Bay Services Club in 2000 and Keno jackpot winnings for seven to 10 correct numbers total more than $3.8 million in the area between Lismore and Ballina, Casino and Byron Bay.
Luckiest clubs are the Casino RSM Club, Ballina RSL Club, Evans Head Bowling Club and Byron Bay Services Club.
More than $18 million in cash prizes is won every month in NSW on Keno.