Lottery winner urges people to be careful what they wish for after reality hits

An Australian man who once won the lottery has issued an urgent warning after his dreams were dashed.

When Adelaide’s Frank Kemmler won a tidy AUD$60,000 ($40,767) on the lotto, he immediately told his family he was treating them to a vacation.

The 70-year-old said that he rang his nearest and dearest, and told them to pack their bags ASAP.

However, disaster struck when he found out his new jackpot winnings would impact his livelihood.
After visiting his local Centrelink - a branch of Services Australia that delivers payments on behalf of government programmes - Frank was unfortunately told his lottery winnings counted as a form of income.

Because of the monthly lotto payments, it was expressed to the widower that access to his disability support pension would be cut as a result.

Speaking to A Current Affair about the ordeal, he began: “It was certainly a nice feeling when I checked me numbers.

“I rang the family. I said, ‘pack up, we’re going on a holiday!’

“[It] was a bit of a disillusionment. You think you win on the one hand, but they take it away with the other hand,” he explained.

After being cut off from his pension, Frank revealed that it ‘took him a couple of days’ to realise the extent of the decision.

“I had just been cut off for no reason at all. So much for being lucky,” he added.
Frank’s previous pension covered the price of his medical appointments and various medications.

However, as he is now ineligible to receive the bursary, he is personally being forced to fork out for these.

While appearing on the Aussie programme, he had some stern words for fellow citizens who want to win big on the lottery.

He said: “The pension is not really my main worry, because I'm just trying to stop other people from falling into the same trap.

“These people that are buying these [lottery] tickets, there's no warning say that you're going to lose your pension.”
He added that if he had ‘known’ that he would have lost his pension, then he would have given his win to his daughter instead.

Frank has since spent his winnings after striking gold and has reapplied to receive his disability pension again.

However, he was allegedly told that the pension services were ‘so busy’ on December 1, and that he could be forced to wait up to six months for a payment.

He said: “Anybody would think I grew younger, I grew a year older not a year younger.”

A Services Australia spokesperson has since issued a statement and said they will be extending an offer to work ‘directly with Mr. Kemmler to ensure he’s getting the support he is eligible for’.

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