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Winning Numbers

Heart-warming tale shows why keno is so popular

Keno is one of the most popular games to involve picking and hitting numbers. It’s a number jam that has always been a favourite with players, who choose numbers from 1 through to 80 to match up against those drawn out at random. There have been many famous examples of big winners of keno jackpots over the years as many players get that lucky break they have been looking for.

One of the most endearing stories around keno is that of the Australian man from Lambton in New South Wales who netted a crazy jackpot back in 2013. Scooping $4.36 million, he was living proof that the game of keno really could give players massive wins if they hit it lucky. Although he declined to be named for personal reasons, it is thought that he was a regular player at the Blackbutt Hotel in New Lambton, where he nailed the win. His win really put that hotel on the map within the local area as many more came afterwards, trying to emulate his success.


Previous wins had been bigger but not as much of a story

Although this particular win was pretty big, it was not the largest jackpot ever seen in Australian keno at the time. Previously, a Sydney man had won $7.6 million in 1995, but the background to this New Lambton win makes it stand out.

The anonymous 68-year-old winner told reporters at the time that he would not be spending his winnings on flash cars or holidays, as he had done that already. Instead, in a wonderful gesture, he donated a large share of his winnings to the Calvary Mater Hospital in the local area. This was in thanks to the hospital for caring for his wife when she had cancer and to help others in their fight against the disease. Such a touching gesture is what makes this win and story stand out from all the others in keno history.


What did the winner plan to do with the rest of his money?

Aside from donating a sum to the local hospital, it seemed that he would just be doing what he had always done! At the time, he told reporters that he planned to use the money to keep going to the Blackbutt Hotel to play every day and buy his friends a few cold beers! With the amount that he won, he could certainly afford that, and I’m sure that he had a few new “friends” for the first few nights that he went back in again. It seems that he had been playing at the Blackbutt Hotel since 1991 and wasn’t about to stop after his huge win.

An interesting side to this story is that the winner had his own special numbers that he normally played with, but for the jackpot win, he had purchased a Kwikpik ticket. While many would advise against not using your regular numbers, it seems that in this case, it paid off for him.

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