GREENMOUNT couple Melissa Saggers and John Frascina describe themselves as normal working class people who are just trying to make ends meet like everyone else, but on August 3, their lives changed forever when they won the major prize in Cancer Council WAs first ever Ultimate Lifestyle Lottery.
Ms Saggers, partner John and eight-year-old daughter Matilda are the lucky winners of a $1.59 million fully furnished penthouse apartment at Taskers in North Fremantle, as well as a BMW X1 car and $20,000 cash.
Ms Saggers said she had wanted to support the lottery and Cancer Council WA particularly, as John is currently battling a blood cancer, but only bought the ticket the day before the lottery closed.
“I’d been listening to the radio on the way to work for a few weeks and I kept thinking I’ve got to buy a ticket and I kept forgetting every day,” she said.
“I remembered this day so I went in and it’s the first thing I did, I put the computer on, transferred some money into my credit card and bought the ticket, and thought, ‘Oh well, good you know, I’m doing something good to help the Cancer Council’.
“It wasn’t like we had the $100 to spend, so it was like which account can I take it out of,” she said.
Mr Frascina said the win couldn’t have come at a better time for the family.
“A few months ago I was diagnosed with lymphoma, so I’ve been going through chemotherapy for the last few months, which isn’t the nicest thing to go through, but my haematologist has given me a good diagnosis,” he said.
He said he didn’t know how to react when Melissa told him the news.
“You just don’t think you deserve it; what have I done to deserve this?
“If you’re a great surgeon or you’re doing fantastic things you might deserve something, but we’re just normal working- class people who have been slugging it out just trying to make ends meet like everyone else,” he said.
“Matilda’s going to be right now for the rest of her life and she’ll be set up, which to me is the most important thing. I’m no spring chicken; it’s been a big weight taken off my shoulders knowing that my daughter will be fine now,” he said.
“It’s peace of mind. It’s hard to explain peace of mind, but I think I’ve got it now.”
Ms Sagger’s said the win still didn’t seem real.
“It’s been a huge roller coaster ride. I drove home from work that day and I was either crying or laughing, or turning the music up and dancing in my car, or going ‘This is not real’.
“The reason I bought the ticket is because John’s having treatment at the moment and I thought well, this is a great way for me to provide $100 of support, which is nothing really,” she said.“It just provides us with options now, it provides us with some freedom and some choices that we never ever thought we’d have.”
Cancer Council WA chief executive Susan Rooney said she was delighted for Melissa, John and Matilda, as well as the 6669 other winners in the Ultimate Lifestyle Lottery who won prizes including luxury vehicles, overseas and local getaways, entertainment systems and home appliances.
She said the lottery was an exciting new venture which would help Cancer Council increase its reach and impact in the WA community.
“There are more people living longer with cancer and more people being diagnosed with cancer, which means there is a growing demand for Cancer Council services,” Ms Rooney said.
“The proceeds from these lotteries will allow us to continue to grow our services so we can be there for all West Australians affected by cancer when they need us at every stage of their cancer journey, and to grow our investment in world-class cancer research, leading to improved quality of care and access to cutting-edge treatment,” she said.
Cancer Council WA is the State’s leading cancer charity and is reliant on community donations to help people affected by every type of cancer and working across all aspects of cancer control: research, prevention and education programs, and support services for those affected.