BIG WIN: Thomas Jones won $100,000 as part of the first GET CHOPPED! competition.
BIG WIN: Thomas Jones won $100,000 as part of the first GET CHOPPED! competition. Cordell Richardson

Plumber strikes lucky to win $100,000

ROSEWOOD plumber Thomas Jones could be forgiven for heading into work this week feeling a "bit seedy” after the weekend he had.

The 29-year-old had a choice between $100,000 and an extremely rare 1978 Ford XC Fairmont hardtop after his name was drawn out of the hat against 5000 other entries.

Toowoomba-based Jimmy's Chop Shop launched the first GET CHOPPED!! competition last year in their efforts to support young sports people reach their full potential.

Every $40 spent on the shop's merchandise earned a single entry into the competition, with the money going towards supporting young Aussies athletes.

Mr Jones bought $80 worth of gear at the Gatton Motorfest last month, giving him a one in 2500 chance of being drawn out of the barrel on Saturday night.

He said it was a tough decision, especially when the pristine Ford rolled into his driveway on Sunday, but went with the life-changing financial injection.

"I was a bit seedy (on Monday morning) but I still went to work,” he laughed.

"It's going to sort out a lot of debt... and it's going to get me my dream car (a Toyota Landcruiser ute).

"The rest will live in an interest account.

"It helps us out a lot actually. My missus got a bit emotional.

Jimmy's Chop Shop communications manager Brendon Quirey said the competition forms part of a mission to "change the face” of sporting sponsorship in Australia.

After meeting the mother of teenage motorcycle star Joel Kelso, whose family were running out of money to keep him competing overseas, the business did a bit of digging.

They found junior athletes at the top of their sports were not necessarily the best in the country but the ones who had the financial backing to break through.

"People don't approach us for sponsorship,” Mr Quirey said.

"What we do is source out high achievers whose parents don't necessarily have a lot of funds. Then we ask them what they need and try to fill that gap so that child can continue to grow in their sport.”

With Mr Jones going with the money, it was decided the 1978 Ford would be sold off to raise more money to sponsor junior athletes.



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