Lotto win a good start to 60-year marriage
THEY won the lottery on their honeymoon, and childhood sweethearts Eddie and Dot Mercer say they've had good luck ever since.
Still happily married after 60 years, on Saturday the couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with friends and family at Tondoon Botanic Gardens.
Mr Mercer said the most memorable moment of their marriage was winning the 3000-pound Golden Casket, which they used to build their first house.
The couple had wanted to get married, but nearly didn't because they were too poor, Mr Mercer said.
"But then we thought, if we wait till we have enough money we'll never get married - so we did it," he said.
Then, on their Atherton Tablelands honeymoon in 1954, they came across a Buddha in a traditional Chinese house and rubbed its belly for good luck.
"Inside there was an incense smell, you know for their ceremonies. And right there, there was a great big golden Buddha," said Mr Mercer.
They were told that rubbing the Buddha's belly would give them good fortune.
"We give him a good go-over," Mr Mercer said.
Shortly after they bought a lottery ticket, and on their return home found out they'd won.
"That paid our home off and we bought a second hand car," said Mrs Mercer.
"From then on, of course, it's just an ordinary life."
The Mercers had five children, and lived in Gladstone most of their adult lives.
The husband and wife duo met as children, when their mothers ran post offices in the Boyne Valley towns of Taragoola and Barmundu.
The towns were since flooded to create Awoonga Dam.
They were joined by family and friends, and - in spirit at least - by a host of dignitaries who sent congratulations on their "diamond anniversary".
The Mercers received cards from the Queen, the Governor-General, Prime Minister, Queensland Governor and state and federal members of parliament.