Peter Charleton, from Australia, won the equivalent of £500,000 on the Lotto in a win he described as being the result of a late uncle helping him out. He has given the winnings to his local community and those who struggled over lockdown
A Lottery winner gave away all of his winnings to friends and strangers during lockdown.
Peter Charleton won £500k on the Tatts Lotto in Australia but said he did not feel comfortable with keeping the money for himself and gave it away to those “struggling financially and emotionally.”
He said his aim was to get rid of the money before people realised he had won the Lottery and thought he was sitting on a goldmine.
The Scottish Sun reports that Peter spoke as part of a 7news YouTube series called “My Big Story” and revealed that he had at first bought three tickets in memory of his late uncle Charlie who had passed away a short time before.
He told how he had had a close bond with his uncle Charlie and they shared a bond over playing Lotto. He later said: “Maybe uncle Charlie pulled some strings on his way out.”
After the windfall, Peter reached out to friends, family members and even strangers to offer to put some money into their bank accounts.
He said: “My theory on it was that I’ll share it around and once it’s gone, it’s gone. Rather than people thinking I’m sitting on my goldmine, I felt more comfortable knowing that I had given it all away.
“So my mission was to get rid of the money before they realised that I’d won the Lotto.”
Peter started to message some of his Facebook followers anonymously to offer them a cut of the winnings – although some thought the kind offer was a hoax.
He said: “It was hard work getting bank details off people as they are accustom to scams and things that go on the internet. Most people conclude that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably was. It was hard work.”
Eventually Peter widened his efforts and put $1,000 on local pizza restaurants on tabs for people to enjoy before he went to express checkouts at supermarkets, paying for people’s shopping.
He says he does have regrets about his own past behaviour and just enjoys helping people.
Peter added: “There’s such a pleasure in being kind and if you are in the position to do it then I think you are mad if you don’t.
“We are in this together and we have to look after each other where and when we can.”