ABC Radio Brisbane
August 09, 2018 07:00:23
Matt Hart says he still gets butterflies when he calls Lotto winners. (Supplied)
Hear what it is like to receive a lotto call. (ABC News)
Each week from a small soundproof room in Brisbane, a man makes phone calls telling people good news that often changes their lives.Matt Hart from The Lott, the group that manages lottery games and scratch-its in Australia, is responsible for notifying people who have beaten the odds and won big.He believes it could be one of the happiest jobs in the country, although convincing people it’s a legitimate call can often be challenging.”The very first call I ever made did not buy it and said if I called again, he would call the police and hung up on me,” he told ABC Radio Brisbane’s Craig Zonca and Rebecca Levingston.”People tell us they’re not lucky people and it couldn’t be them and think it’s a scam.
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“The soundproof room where we call people is a bit like entering the Tardis; you never know what will happen.”Some people scream wildly, others are just stunned silence … but leather ones this time.”It’s funny, as some people say they’re going to get a haircut or never going to mow their lawn again or iron again.” “Sometimes we have to tell them to check their ticket and come back to us.”Each year Mr Hart makes more than 700 phone calls to winners, yet the odds of receiving a call from Mr Hart are one in 11.3 million.”The biggest call I had to make was a $50 million prize, and when the man who won it answered the phone he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry or hug his wife,” he said.”There’s no real manual for when you win.”Happy calls, but nervous callsIf the lottery is a big jackpot, Mr Hart often calls people straight after a draw at 8.30pm at night or first thing the following day.Although well versed in the winning script, he still gets butterflies when he calls the winners.”I get nervous when I call people and then I want to make sure they can believe it and take it all in,” he said. there are some great screamers out there though.”He said it was a privilege to be let into a sudden moment of someone’s personal life.”We stay in touch with the winners for a couple of months and sometimes years after they win to see what the experience was like,” Mr Hart said.”There is a misconception that people blow it all in one year, but many people say to us, ‘Don’t worry, I won’t blow it, I’ll be responsible’.”Do people spend or save their winnings?Mr Hart said most people put their money into a term deposit for three months to give them time to plan how they spend the win.”The most common thing people say to me when they know they’ve won is that they’re going to pay off their house,” he said.”Many also say they’re going to help their kids, and now more and more people are saying they’re planning on helping their parents retire.”There are often unusual responses from winners too.”One winner told me they were going to quit their job and become a Buddhist monk,” Mr Hart said.”A person recently told me they were going to buy a pair of sandals … Photo:
The odds that Matt Hart will call you are one in 11.3 million.