$1 Million Kachingo! Winners Sure About One Thing
April 20, 2002
While the winners of the $1 million Kachingo! Big Cash Easter draw are unsure of what they'll do with their huge windfall, there is one thing of which they are certain.
And that is, some of the money will be used to buy a flotation chair for the bed-bound brother of one of them.
The Northcote couple came forward after reading newspaper publicity and recognising items from their momentous shopping list.
The two, Tony and Maria, are frequent Woolworths shoppers but hadn't been checking their Kachingo tickets regularly. However, when they read about the search for the Kachingo! winners in a Sunday paper, some of the shopping list items rang a bell.
"We recognised a few things like the Whiskas cat food, the fruit salad, tinned pink salmon and the noodles.
"We weren't too sure whether or not it would be us so we gathered all our Kachingo! tickets together and headed for Woolworths after work on the Monday (April 15)," Tony said.
The twosome put a wad of tickets one by one through the self checker at Woolworths and the last one scanned indicated they were winners - but the caption didn't show them how much they had won.
It was left to Woolworths Northcote deputy team leader Fraser Baird to call the Kachingo! hotline - and have the great pleasure to inform them they were $1 million better off.
"I was sort of expecting it but when Fraser confirmed the amount I nearly fainted," Maria says. Fraser Baird said they were remarkably calm but, as they left the store, he heard Maria let out a loud 'yahoo!'.
Maria and Tony might be unsure what their big win will bring, but they are certain Maria's brother will benefit from their good fortune.
Maria is a nurse and she has been helping her father look after her invalid 30 year-old brother for 13 years.
"It has been my dream to have the money to provide things for him to make his life a little easier," she says. "So we are going to buy him a floatation bed that will enable us to take trips out of the house so he can enjoy a bit more variety in his life.
"It costs about $10,000 and that's nothing when we've won a million dollars. I'm just so happy - I can't believe I can finally make a difference."
Kachingo! managing director Mary Vance says her team is overjoyed at helping the couple win a life-changing amount of money.
"We're so excited to give away our first million dollars," she says. "After all the years we have put in developing Kachingo!, everyone here has been so keen to meet Maria and Tony. It's just great."
Woolworths spokesperson Des Flynn says everyone at the Northcote supermarket is very excited about Maria and Tony's win.
"We had a small celebration at the Northcote supermarket and our team members were simply happy to see they had brought a big ray of sunshine into the lives of a thoroughly deserving couple.
"Woolworths is delighted to have played a significant role in it all."
The Easter draw was the last under Kachingo's monthly structure. It has now changed to weekly draws for a $100,000 big cash prize, at least 30 second prizes of $1,000, 700 third prizes of $20 and thousands of fourth prizes of $5.
Kachingo! is a customer rewards programme invented in New Zealand. It is the only one to reward shoppers with cash rewards just for shopping at any store within the Kachingo! village of partners. The village consists of BP, Super Liquor and Woolworths, Big Fresh and Price Chopper supermarkets. Since October 2001, Kachingo! partners have issued more than 71,000 winning gameline tickets worth more than $3.85 million.
" To win $1 million, Maria and Tony spent $60.93 purchasing among other things a Kachingo! special Whiskas Cat Food which gained them an extra gameline. " The million dollar weekend was a lucky one for Woolworths Northcote shoppers. Someone who shopped at the supermarket on Saturday (April 6) won the Kachingo! weekly draw worth $10,000.