$100 scores couple three homes worth $3.4 million
A COUPLE in their sixties who had never owned a home before have become real estate moguls overnight after being awarded three luxury properties worth $3.4 million.
Marie and Joe Watson's new properties include a two-bedroom penthouse in Potts Point with multimillion-dollar views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
The couple were also given a three-bedroom home in Queensland holiday hotspot Noosa and a one-bedroom unit in Port Melbourne.
The homes, which together have the potential to generate $153,000 in annual rent, had been offered through a draw to raise money for veteran's charity RSL Art Union.
Mrs Watson, a frequent entrant into the charity's competitions, had spent $100 on 20 tickets at $5 each.
The $3.4 million property giveaway came with luxury furniture and an additional $135,000 worth of gold bullion.
"It still hasn't sunk in yet," Mrs Watson said. "Nothing like this has ever happened to us before and it's changed our life. We didn't even own a home."
The couple, who work as relief rental managers, had been largely nomadic for the past 13 years, staying in various locations around Queensland, NSW and South Australia.
"We had some money saved up for a home deposit but we gave it to our daughter so she could buy her home," Mrs Watson said.
"We'd thought we'd just bunk up with her when we needed to, but now we have our own base. It changes everything."
The couple, originally from the Sunshine Coast, said they had a passion for veteran's affairs: their families' had served in multiple wars, including WWII and the Anglo Boer War of 1899-1902.
"I also kept entering because I just knew I'd win," Mrs Watson said. "I always told my husband we shouldn't worry because we'd one day win a house. Now we have three."
The couple were still deciding which address to stay at. "Each one is amazing. It's not an easy decision," Mrs Watson said. "We we're thinking maybe we'd use the Noosa one as a base and the Sydney one would be like our super fund. But who knows?"
RSL Art Union general manager Tracey Bishop said the charity received more than 350,000 orders for tickets before the draw closed November 7, with most entrants spending about $30 on tickets.
The charity group's next draw is for a block of five apartments in Gold Coast suburb Palm Beach worth $4.1 million. The expected annual rental income from the units is $209,560.