Variety winner Robby Hobson’s tough choice between house or cash


Still feeling shell shocked, Robbie Hobson took some time out with Lottery of Choice ambassadors, the Topham children who all have Muscular Dystrophy: Jamie Topham (12), Scott (8) Robbie Hobson, Terri Wagner and Hayley (10) Topham.
Still feeling shell shocked, Robbie Hobson took some time out with Lottery of Choice ambassadors, the Topham children who all have Muscular Dystrophy: Jamie Topham (12), Scott (8) Robbie Hobson, Terri Wagner and Hayley (10) Topham.

JUGGLING both full time study and work, Baldivis resident Robbie Hobson often struggled to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

But the decision to buy two tickets in a raffle would set him on a different course entirely.

One day while home studying he received a phone call from Variety WA CEO Michael Pailthorpe.

He had won the major prize: a new home worth $1,000,000 or $800,000 in cash with his ticket number 20691.

“I was actually at home trying to do an assignment,” he said.

“Then an hour later I got the phone call that I was the major prize winner.

“It was a little hard to do the assignment after that.”

The 27-year-old is studying Computer Science while also working fulltime at Bunnings Maddington.

He said the experience had been bizarre and he does not know what prize he will choose.

“It’s very surreal, I was very nervous,” he said.

“I would like to build so I may end up doing that and pay down some debts.

“It’s just the best opportunity – we are set-up for life now.

His partner Terri Wagner said when Robbie rang her she thought he was joking.

“He called not long after he found out himself. I really thought he was joking,” she said.

“I had to ask him several times and also that he was sure that it wasn’t a prank call!”

The lottery dubbed ‘Variety of Choice Lottery’ was first launched in 2015 with the help of Australian actor Michael Caton, star of the 1997 iconic Australian film The Castle.

Adhering to its namesake, the major prize winner has a variety of options for the major prize.

They choose both the home they win and its location.

Variety WA partnered with Plunkett homes for the lottery so the winner has more than 100 house designs to choose from and locations anywhere from Albany to Kalbarri.

Proceeds from the lottery will help Variety to provide essential equipment, programs and experiences for sick/ disadvantaged or special needs children.

Some of these include an iPad and specialist ‘apps’ to help children living with Autism, vehicle modifications for children with physical disability to travel safely in the family car, modified bicycles, camps, wheelchairs and more.

Mr Hobson was treated to champagne when he was officially presented with the major prize at Plunkett display home, The Riviera in Wandi.

Other prizes included jewellery from Linneys, cars, electronics and camping equipment to a grand total of million dollars.

“It’s just so much to take in – there are many options but you want to do it right,” said Terri.