Source: The Mercury, 26 May, 1999, p.1-2
From near death to six billion to one win A YEAR ago they were about to switch off Bill Morgan's life support system. Yesterday the television cameras gathered to record him receiving a car he'd won in a scratch lottery. Then he bought another ticket from the same newsagent for luck und while the cameras rolled he scratched it and won $250,000. No kidding .. . even though the odds against the two wins were 6.125 billion-to-one. Mr Morgan's tale of luck reads like fiction. He suffered a heart attack in April last year after he was treated with a drug to which he had a violent reaction. His heart stopped for almost 15 minutes and he went into a coma for 12 days. Only hours before doctors in Dandenong Hospital in Melbourne's south-east were due to switch off his life support system, they changed their minds and flew him by helicopter to the city's Alfred Hospital. Mr Morgan. 37, then experienced his first stroke of amazing luck. Normally anyone whose heart has stopped for as long as his would either be dead or would have suffered serious brain damage. But on Anzac Day last year, not only did he wake up but he came out of the coma without any sign of ill-effects. "The doctors asked me how I felt and I think the first thing I said to them was that I was hungry," Mr Morgan said yesterday. Then he got even luckier. The company he worked for kept a job driving trucks open for him and to celebrate his 'reawakening", he got engaged to his girlfriend Lisa Wells on Anzac Day this year. Then he got really lucky. A fortnight ago he bought a Tattersall's scratchie from his local newsagent in Cranbourne. The ticket won him a $27,000 Toyota Corolla car. But then he got really, really lucky. At a special publicity event yesterday at which he took delivery of his new car, Mr Morgan was asked to re-enact the "scratchie" purchase for the cameras. He pulled $5 out of his pocket and handed it over the counter at the same newsagency from which he had bought the lucky car ticket. He scratched the plastic film off the ticket and let out a yell. The ticket was worth a cool quarter- of-a-million dollars. As the gathered media muttered cynically about corny publicity stunts, an incredulous Mr Morgan broke down and started to cry. "l really have won $250,000," he said. And so he had. No stunts, no publicity gimmicks. Yesterday, Mr Morgan was still in a state of shock. "If I get any more excited, I'm going to have to go and see a doctor. "I thought I had already used up
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all my luck and then I win a quarter of a million dollars. I mean, this is just not supposed to happen - not to me, not to anyone" he said. Mr Morgan. who believes that he talked to his dead mother when his heart stopped beating last year, said the win had convinced him of the existence of God. "If something like this happens to you. there is no way that you could say it was pure chance. There has to be something bigger and more powerful at play," he said. Mr Morgan said the first thing he would do would be to buy a new house. "My fiancee and I live in a unit that is the size of a shoe-box so we want to get a proper home." He also would fulfil a lifelong dream to travel to England with Lisa. But, as he sipped champagne, Mr Morgan said he would keep his job as a driver for electrical chain Harvey Norman. "I'm going to have to find someone to fill in for me today or else I suppose I will have to go to work," he said. "But I'm still going to turn up tomorrow." Last night Tabcorp spokesman Lance Behan said the chance of win- ning a car in the compe- tition was one in 17,500 while the odds of taking the grand cash prize was 350,000-to-one. Together the odds were more than six billion to one.
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