62yo concretor becomes multi-millionaire after pub visit

CHEERS: \"Swervin'\" Merv Horne holding the Keno ticket that won him $2.9 million.
CHEERS: \"Swervin'\" Merv Horne holding the Keno ticket that won him $2.9 million. Jordan Philp

HUMBLE Hervey Bay concreter Merv Horne has won almost $3 million while playing Keno at the Kondari Hotel in Urangan.

The 62-year-old, known as Swervin' Mervin at the pub, said he had been playing Keno since the game started in Queensland 19 years ago, and had taken home small wins - $800 or $900 - in the past.

RELATED: Are we the lucky region? Latest Keno win one of many

But it was a '10 numbers' game last Thursday afternoon that saw Merv walk away with the $2,929,457 cash prize.

"First I played a $10 game and got $4 back, I put in another $10 and got $3 back, so then I put $20 on a game and that's when it happened," Merv said.

"The phone rang and the girl behind the bar looked straight at me. We checked the numbers and I'd won.

"I still had three games to go."


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Keno spokesperson David Dicker congratulated Keno's fifth Queensland millionaire for 2016, saying everyone at Keno was ecstatic to see the jackpot go to a loyal Keno player and a real Aussie battler.

"Keno loves to make millionaires and we're rapt to see it go to someone as deserving as Merv, who was still working hard in a tough construction industry job," Dicker said.

Merv has worked as a concreter for more than 30 years, and said he was planning to retire early from the physically straining work.

"It's all right when you're a bit younger," he said.

"But it takes a toll on you."

While he plans to continue working "for a bit longer", Merv has told his boss about his multi-million dollar win.

"He was pretty happy for me," he said.

"Yeah he's a really good bloke, I worked for his old man and now for him."

After finishing up the celebrations with his mates at the Kondari, Merv said he would see his accountant before deciding what to spend his money on.

"I think I'll buy a house and give some to the family," he said.

Merv is one of eight children, and his 99-year-old mother lives in a nursing home.

"She [my mother] didn't believe me when I told her I'd won that much," he said.

"But eventually she believed that I was a millionaire."

Merv plans on giving some of the money to each of his siblings and will keep playing Keno.

His winning numbers were 3, 20, 34, 42, 44, 47, 51, 53, 60, and 78.

Topics:  fraser coast, general-seniors-news, hervey bay, keno, millionaire, winner

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