When Vi’s phone rang on Friday 29 April, she never would have guessed the phone call would be life changing.
As a huge fan of The Block television series, particularly loveable larrikin contestants Caro and Kingi, Vi was absolutely ecstatic when she was given the news she’d just won the level 2 Blocktagon apartment. In fact, the call was arguably one of the best we’ve heard!
“Oh it’s gorgeous isn’t it!” she said to Bruce Dennehy, Executive Director of Mater Foundation – Lotteries, as he started to explain her prize.
“Oh my god! You’re kidding me…!” she said once she realised she’d won.
Caro even said hello, at which point Vi became lost for words at first “I love you two, you were the best!”
The three bedroom Melbourne apartment wasn’t the only thing Vi won—as part of first prize she also took home $200,000 worth of gold bullion, a Mercedes-Benz GLE450, a $50,000 VISA gift card to take on a shopping spree, and a $5,000 travel and accommodation voucher. The total first prize package was the largest ever at over $2.25 million.
By the time Bruce was through explaining Vi’s entire prize, she had well and truly been brought to tears.
A few weeks later at the handover of her new home, Vi gave us an insight into what was happening at her end of the phone.
“I went and locked myself in the board room at work,” she said.
When Vi hung up the phone, she walked into her bosses office and said “You know what, I might go home now. And I might not be back for a while.”
She headed straight home and videoed her partner Kevin’s reaction to the news.
“He was working on the garage door at home and I asked him ‘If you could pay someone to do that, would you?’. He thought I was having him on.”
After taking some well-deserved time off, Vi decided to give notice at her work and is planning on helping out her children by looking after the grandkids. The win has also allowed Kevin to retire.
Vi has been a Mater Prize Home VIP for some time, and saw it as her way of giving back to Mater. “I bumped into a salesperson at a shopping mall once and thought it was a great way to support Mater. I’ve been purchasing a $30 book each month ever since.”
Vi’s grandson was born at Mater Mothers’ Hospital prematurely, and sadly passed away. After receiving the exceptional level of care Mater is renowned for, she signed up as a way to give back to the fantastic staff who cared for her family.
Vi and Kevin, have six children, and 11 grandchildren between them—so supporting Mater’s littlest patients is something they feel strongly about.
“We do the Mater Little Miracles 5k walk each year,” she said.
The couple—who are renowned for their generosity—used their holiday voucher to fly down to the home for the handover, and brought some close friends along as well. They were then flying family down later that week to explore Melbourne.
Vi activated her VISA gift card straight away, but only bought herself a pair of comfortable new shoes. “The prize won’t change us, but it has allowed us to help out our children, and spoil the grandkids” Vi said. “I took the grandkids shopping and filled up the trolley!”
And of course—Caro and Kingi went down to give Vi and Kevin the keys to their brand new apartment. And give them a VIP tour of the apartment.
“It’s so nice to meet the winner of the apartment,” Caro said. “We put our blood sweat and tears into this place, so it’s amazing to see it going to someone so deserving. They’ve worked hard in life, and they truly deserve it.”
“We’re just so happy for them” Kingi said.
As much as the couple love the apartment, they have put it on the market, and plan to pay off their mortgage. “It’s amazing here, but we love Queensland.” Vi said.
It could be you next—all you have to do is purchase your Mater Prize Home lottery tickets. As Caro says, “You’ve got to be in it to win it!”