Cleaner Who Lost Job During COVID Pandemic Wins $59 Million Lottery Jackpot

Showing that sometimes your luck can turn on a dime, a man in Australia who worked as a cleaner to pay the bills after he lost his job during a COVID shutdown is celebrating a multi-million-dollar lottery win.

The unnamed man from north Melbourne held the only winning ticket in Thursday night's Powerball draw and his $AUS 80 million ($59 million) windfall made him the biggest ever winner in the state of Victoria, and the third biggest in his country's history.

He had bought his ticket online at and when he saw his numbers come up, which were 17, 10, 4, 26, 19, 23, 21 and 7, he faced a sleepless night until the money hit his bank account.

"I lost my job during one of the many lockdowns here in Melbourne," he said, according to 7 News. "We had only just bought a home and didn't see it coming. I've been working as a cleaner ever since to make ends meet."

On Thursday, Melbourne was due to end its sixth lockdown since the pandemic began.

However, after 20 new COVID cases were reported, Victoria state Premier Dan Andrews said stay-at-home orders for Australia's second city would remain in place until at least August 19.

Andrews said there was too much uncertainty around new COVID cases and "too many unanswered questions...for us to safely come out of lockdown now," Australia's ABC News reported.

The number of infections in the South Pacific country is relatively low compared with the rest of the world, with around 37,000 cases and the death toll hitting 944 on Wednesday.

However, less than a quarter of the population is vaccinated and stop-start lockdowns are continuing across the country, risking further job losses and a recession, according to Reuters.

It means that the lottery win couldn't have come at a better time. As well as paying off his mortgage and setting up his children for life, the winner wanted his prize to do good for others.

"Like for so many people, these lockdowns have been really tough for our family," the man said. "I am going to try and help everyone."

Powerball, operated under the master brand The Lott, is Australia's biggest official jackpotting lottery and the chances of winning the jackpot are thought to be over 134 million to one. Unlike U.S. lotteries, the winnings aren't taxed.

"There's so much we will be able to do with this prize," he said, "It will change so many people's lives."

Newsweek has contacted the Lott for comment.

Australia lottery balls
A stock image of lottery balls with the Australian flag on them. A man in Melbourne who lost his job during a COVID lockdown has won a multi-million-dollar jackpot prize. Getty