A LOTTO winner has been branded a local hero after it was revealed he had given away all of his £500k winning jackpot to help friends and strangers struggling in the COVID lockdown.
Peter Charlton, who won the Tats Lotto in Australia, said he didn’t feel comfortable keeping the money and instead decided to generously distribute his new found fortune to “eventually and emotionally struggling” people.
speaking as part of a 7news The YouTube series titled ‘My Big Story’, The Dad, revealed that he had initially bought three tickets in memory of his late uncle Charlie – who passed away some time ago from an incurable disease.
The pair reportedly shared a close bond over the experience of playing the lotto as Peter later claimed that “Maybe Uncle Charlie pulled some strings on his way” after winning the jackpot.
But what happened next soon shocked the local community as Peter began reaching out to friends, family, and eventually strangers – offering them free money in their bank accounts.
Peter explained: “My theory on this was that I would share it around and once it’s gone.
“Instead of making people think I’m sitting on my gold mine, I felt more comfortable knowing that I gave it my all.”
“So my mission was to get rid of the money before they realized I had won the lotto.”
Trying to keep his victory in the dark, Peter anonymously messaged his followers on Facebook with a generous offer.
While some gladly accepted his offer with open arms, others found it hard to believe that he was a “scam”.
“Getting bank details from people was a tough job as they are used to scams and things going on the internet,” Peter said.
“Most people conclude that if it sounds too good to be true it probably was.”
“It was hard work,” he said.
But that didn’t dampen his efforts as Peter began widening his giving spree as he put $1,000 on the tab for people to enjoy at a local pizza restaurant.
He also began venturing into express checkout at supermarkets – going about his daily business while paying for his purchases.
He has since acknowledged his regret about his “past behavior”, concluding that he simply enjoys helping people.
He said: “There’s such a joy in being kind and if you’re in a position to do it I think you’re crazy if you don’t.
“We are in this together and we have to take care of each other where and when we can.”