Family’s winning lottery ticket nearly given away as Christmas gift

An Australian family who won a nearly $20,000 lottery prize said the winning ticket nearly ended up being given away as a Christmas gift.

The Elenora Heights, New South Wales, family told The Lott officials they bought a stack of scratch-off tickets from the Elanora Heights Newsagency to distribute to friends and family members for Christmas.

“We actually bought a bunch of instant scratch-its tickets to give to others for Christmas — it’s a bit of a tradition we have,” the family’s mother said. “This one was left over, so we scratched it on Christmas Day!”

The leftover ticket turned out to be a $17,402.40 top-prize winner.

“The gods were smiling on us. We were very fortunate,” the mother said. “We had to read the instructions a few times to check and double-check that we’d won it. We didn’t want to get too excited until we could confirm everything.”

The family said some of the winnings will go toward a new car, while the rest will be shared with family and put into savings.