It took 175 days to claim the $55m prize but just hours for the funds to flow to a lucky lotto player’s bank account.
The money is due to reach the mystery winner on Thursday, almost six months after the Powerball draw brought up the numbers.
The enviable sum was just days from being sent to Victoria’s State Revenue Office for safekeeping when the ticket holder came forward on Wednesday.
He or she has chosen to remain anonymous, with lottery operators refusing to divulge the winner’s age, gender or even where the prize was claimed, ticket in hand.
“They should see the $55m in their bank account on Thursday morning,” said a Tattslotto spokesman, Matt Hart. “It’s all pretty straightforward now.”
After the winning numbers came up in the 11 January draw, there have been weird and wacky rumours about the delay in claiming the prize.
Sam Misiano’s Brunswick newsagency sold the ticket and he said he was relieved the search was over after many customers illegitimately tried to claim the prize.
“It has been a crazy few months but now we can relax knowing it has been claimed by the rightful winner,” he said.
The feeling of relief was mutual at lottery headquarters. “We’re relieved that it’s finally been claimed,” Hart said. “We’re in the business of making millionaires, not holding on to the money.”