An Aussie man who won almost $1 million in the Lotto says he has no regrets giving the money away to his family, close friends and struggling strangers.
Peter Charleton, 47, from Yarra Ranges in Victoria won $896,511.13 on the TattsLotto after a stroke of luck saw him buying some tickets in August 2020.
The father had accidentally left his late uncle’s favourite pocket knife on top of his car before driving an hour home.
He was stunned to discover the knife was still on top of his car after the journey, and took to TikTok to reveal he would be buying Lotto tickets to cash in on his good luck.
Peter Charleton (pictured) won nearly $1 million in the Lotto, but gave it all away to others in need
After purchasing three tickets, Mr Charleton waited a few days before downloading the TattsLotto app to check if he was a winner.
The first and second gave him no luck. However, the third came up with a message he had never seen before.
‘I scanned the third one and it came up with something that I wasn’t familiar with because said you are a big winner,’ he told to Seven’s My Big Story.
Not believing what he was seeing, Mr Charleton deleted the app, redownloaded it and tried again.
He was still a winner.
‘It was a really good feeling,’ he said.
After a tense 17 days where he told only his immediate family about his winnings, the money landed into his account.
Mr Charleton said he had no desire to splurge on himself, instead choosing to take care of his family, friends and the wider community.
‘I don’t feel comfortable keeping all this money to myself. And so I didn’t,’ he remarked.
Looking after his immediate family first, he gave them enough to get by a bit easier, followed by friends who were doing it tough, even going to cafes, restaurants and supermarkets to pay for food for unsuspecting customers.
‘I felt more comfortable knowing that I’d given it all away and done a few things for myself.’
‘I was messaging people on Facebook asking “can I have your bank details, I want to send you some money”…I didn’t tell the wider community that I’d won Lotto,’ he said.
A magazine was set to release an article about Mr Charleton and his winnings about a month later.
He wanted to have given away the money before anyone realised he had won the Lotto.
‘My mission was to get rid of it all before people realised I’d won it,’ he admitted.
While he did set aside some money for himself to pay off his mortgage and buy a second-hand car, most of the money went to others.
He said that while it was a weird coincidence that led him to buying the tickets, he thinks his Uncle Charlie had something to do with it.
Mr Charleton had been looking after his Uncle Charlie (left) who passed away from chronic lung disease only a few weeks before Mr Charleton purchased his tickets. The two used to say they would one day win the Lotto
Mr Charleton was a full-time carer for his uncle when he was sick with chronic lung disease.
Together, they used to enter the Lotto, with Uncle Charlie saying they’d win it someday.
He passed away two weeks before Mr Charleton purchased the winning ticket and was the original owner of the pocket knife that started it all.
‘Maybe, just maybe, Uncle Charlie pulled some strings on his way out,’ he said.
Mr Charleton has advocated for doing things for others, and is an active member in the community helping out those in need, even before he won big.
He had run a free jumping castle business for children’s parties, just wanting to see families happy and had done gardening for a woman who was struggling with depression.
‘There’s such a pleasure in being kind and being able to help people. And if you’re in a position where you’ve got the money to do it, I think you’re mad if you don’t.’ he said.
He said he doesn’t understand how multi-billionaires can continue to build on their on wealth and not give at least some of it away to those in need.
‘Do what you can to make somebody else’s day a little bit brighter.’
Mr Charleton chose to only tell his immediate family of his winnings, looking after them before giving the rest away to others in need