Lotto win: Struggling newsagency’s luck changed overnight

A CAIRNS newsagency on the brink of closing its doors forever has had its luck turn around with the sale of a winning $1.2 million lotto ticket.

NewsXpress Cairns Central has been hit hard by COVID-19, having to terminate four staff members and recording up to a 40 per cent drop in sales in recent months.

But the locally owned and operated business is now celebrating, having sold a winning division 1 prize of $1,217,458.56 from Saturday night's Gold Lotto draw.

Newsagency owner Keith Hamilton thanked those who had continued to support his business during tough times.

"Many thanks to all our wonderful customers who support our lucky store each week," he said.

This is not the first time newsXpress Cairns Central has had lottery success, selling a $2.7 million winning entry in December last year and more notably selling a $40 million winning Oz Lotto ticket back in 2017.

News Express Cairns Central co owner Keith Hamilton has seen sales drop at his newsagency by 40 percent as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and government restrictions. He is urging Cairns locals to support local businesses. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
News Express Cairns Central co owner Keith Hamilton has seen sales drop at his newsagency by 40 percent as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and government restrictions. He is urging Cairns locals to support local businesses. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

"This is our third division one win in less than three years," Mr Hamilton said.

"Our customers will be so happy that we've sold another winner, but maybe a little disappointed it wasn't them. We wish our winner all the very best. We're sure this win will change his life."

A Cairns man claimed the prize, saying he "just about fell over" when he checked the numbers in the paper and realised he'd just become a millionaire.

He said he planned on retiring and helping out family with his new fortune.

"I've been playing for years and years, and you always hope you'll win, but I still can't wrap my head around it," he said.

"I'm now a millionaire. It just doesn't ring right yet. It sounds so weird."

Mr Hamilton last month feared that he would have to close up shop forever in the near future due to a significant drop in sales.

"We can't derive enough money at present out of the business to pay for the rent," he said. "It's difficult times but we're trying to remain positive and work through whatever we can to stay open for our customers."

Saturday night's lottery win is the region's second in just a week, with a Cairns woman taking home a prize of $1,982,910 on April 25.

A Cairns man also won $250,000 from an Instant Scratch-It last month.

Originally published as How struggling newsagency's luck changed overnight



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