By TOBY WALKER
THE hunt was on yesterday for the Clarence Valley's newest multi-millionaire after it was revealed the winning $3million ticket from Tuesday night's Oz Lotto draw had come from a Grafton newsagency.
The winner's identity remained unknown all morning as many around the Jacaranda City continued to speculate on who it might be, certain only that it wasn't them.
Grafton Mall Newsagency owners Kel and Megan Blacktop, the husband and wife team who sold the winning ticket, weren't even sure because the entry was unregistered.
All morning they waited to break the good news to one of their customers that he or she had won the entire $3million first division prize the night before.
But when the winners finally walked into their shop just before 1pm, the champagne corks stayed on and the party was kept on hold.
According to Kel, the winners were an 'older Grafton couple' who had been regular customers of the newsagency for years.
He said they approached the counter with the ticket and said 'I know, don't say anything', preferring not to make a fuss about it all.
"We just took them out to the office so they could claim their prize so nobody knew what was going on," he said.
"Her hand was shaking so badly she could hardly sign the claim form."
According to Kel, the couple had been watching the draw the night before when their numbers came up.
Not believing their luck, they had hardly managed to get any sleep after the draw, getting up repeatedly through the night to check their numbers were correct.
Megan said she was glad to find out the winners were people she knew.
"We know the (couple's) family quite well and they've told us that they're going to keep the win quiet for a while," she said.
The hardest part would be waiting to see the look on the faces of the family when they finally did find out, Megan said.
The windfall was not the first big prize to have been claimed at Megan and Kel's newsagency, the wall behind the counter showing off more than a dozen winning plaques.
But yesterday's bonanza was by far the largest, allowing Grafton to join the Lower River in the millionaires' club of lottery winners.
Lottery players at Maclean and Yamba have previously won big, with two lucky players landing $10 and $30million prizes respectively in recent years.