A lot of people might have different answers for what qualifies as “the best job in the world,” but Matt Hart is positive that he is working one of them.
That’s because it’s Hart’s job to call lottery winners and tell them that they’ve won millions of dollars.
Hart works for The Lott, which is Australia’s largest lottery operator. Every day, he goes into a soundproof room and calls lotto winners so he can explain how they have beaten the odds and won the draw.
In a recent interview with ABC Radio Brisbane, Hart explains how he typically makes about 700 phone calls in a year. Typically, the prizes average $10,000, but the highest win that he has ever called in was $50 million – and the winner simply said that he didn’t know whether to “laugh or cry or hug his wife.”
Some people are too stunned to speak; others can’t help but scream with delight; and many of the people on the other end of the line can’t believe the good news. Hart says that during his first ever phone call, the winner threatened to call the police before hanging up on him. When the winner finally found out it was legitimate, however, they were apparently “really apologetic.”
Despite the rocky start, Hart still insists that he has the happiest job in the country, and he “still gets butterflies” before making phone calls.
“You feel like a cross between the Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny when delivering the prize money,” Hart told VICE. “When you think about it, it’s quite surreal that we just interrupt someone’s life, every morning, to deliver the news that they’ve won a top prize and they’re now a millionaire or multi-millionaire.
“We have this little insight into their lives—it’s a real emotional thing for many people, we hear about their hopes and dreams of what they’d always thought they’d do with a million-dollar win,” he adds.
Hart also says that people don’t usually blow all their winnings within the first year, as it is so commonly believed. In fact, people have told him some pretty surprising intentions after receiving the fortune; one winner simply said that he was excited to get a haircut, while another said that he wanted to quit his job and become a Buddhist monk. More commonly, people talk about how they want to pay for their parents’ retirement or help their kids financially.
“We stay in touch with the winners for a couple of months and sometimes years after they win to see what the experience was like,” Hart told ABC. “There is a misconception that people blow it all in one year, but many people say to us, ‘Don’t worry, I won’t blow it, I’ll be responsible’.”