The moments after WA’s newest Powerball winners had their $80 million jackpot confirmed have been caught on camera, revealing wild, noisy celebrations.
A syndicate of 55 women from Curves gym at Belridge Shopping Centre scooped the entire jackpot on Thursday night, with most of them discovering the incredible news during their Christmas get-together.
Zoe Ellis, manager of Grapevine Italian Restaurant in Heathridge, took the footage and said it was one of the best nights she’d ever worked.
The group had booked out most of the restaurant for their dinner but the festivities were dialled up to 100 about 7pm when they realised they’d won big.
Ms Ellis said as the news sunk in, the women – 38 out of the 55 winners – started hugging and crying.
“They were having their Christmas Party and they wanted to check their ticket while they waited for their meals and they started screaming ‘they’ve won, they’ve won’ and we were like ‘what did you win? and they said ‘we’ve won the lotto, we’ve won the Powerball, the $80 million!”
“Sue, the lady who organised it all, she actually came up and showed me the ticket because she wanted me to double check to make sure, and it was on line number 50 – the last line on the ticket.”
Ms Ellis said Sue left to try to find a lotto agency that was open but had no luck. Instead, the group were forced to wait until 8.30pm to have the win confirmed by Lotterywest.
“When they got their food, most of them couldn’t eat because of the nerves. There were a few tears and a lot of joy.”
And, of course, the champagne was flowing.
“We were just so excited for them. We gave a few of the ladies hugs because they couldn’t believe it, another lady I almost had to help her dial her phone because her hands were shaking that much,” Ms Ellis said.
“Another one had to go buy a packet of cigarettes because she couldn’t believe it, so she was borrowing my lighter all night.”
As the news spread, the husbands of a few of the winners, along with a couple of children, arrived to share in the celebrations.
“The few other diners were coming up to congratulate them and advising them to spend the money wisely,” Ms Ellis said.
“One of the winners is only 18 so she’s set for life now.”
The gym used to be in the same complex as the restaurant but had to move last year to the Belridge Shopping Centre, however they still return to help support the Grapevine restaurant.
Ms Ellis said she closed up the restaurant at 10.30pm and as she was tidying a few of the women were still sitting outside and finishing off the champagne.
To cap off a once-in-a-lifetime night, Ms Ellis said she was thrilled with the generous tip left by the lucky ladies: $200 to share with the staff.