Search to find the winner of $330,333
By Shan Goodwin
Forget terrorism summits and Hurricane Rita, the only thing being talked about in Kyogle at the moment is that someone is $330,333.40 richer.
The town is desperately hoping it is one of the Norply workers put out of a job when the factory burned down nearly two weeks ago.
Someone who bought an unregistered ticket in Monday night's Lotto draw from Laahoven's Mitre 10 shared the $1 million first division prize with two other NSW players.
Yesterday, as word spread through the town, hundreds of people converged on the store to have their tickets checked, but by close of trade no one had claimed the jackpot.
The store put up signs and balloons, but word-of-mouth did the trick better.
Staff member Graheme Crispin took the call at 8am yesterday from NSW Lotteries.
"I was really, really excited and really, really happy, and my first thoughts were of the people at Norply," he said.
"We all want it to be one of them.
"The town is buzzing, everyone is so eager to find out who it is. In a small town like Kyogle news like this travels fast."
Lotto came to Kyogle 26 years ago and Mitre 10, which was then Shirleys, has run it since day one.
Store owner Margaret Laahoven said there had been two first prizes of $100,000 in Jackpot Lottery, a $50,000 instant scratchie win, a $24,875 Pools win, and several $1000 wins, but this was the biggest.
"The excitement has been incredible," she said.
"People have been coming in, hearing the news and rushing home to get their tickets. We sold hundreds of unregistered tickets in the draw. As each customer comes in, you never know when it will be the one."
The other winners were from Newcastle and the southern Sydney suburb of Sylvania.