Source: The Mercury, 26 May, 1999, p.1-2


Luckiest man in the world

 

 

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
Continued Page 2 
 
The luckiest man in the world 
 
FROM PAGE 1
 
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.


Where to next?

Student Questions for this article
Teacher Discussion of this article
Index - Related articles
Index - Chance and Basic Probability
Main Index - Numeracy in the News