The major prize winner of the Hogs for the Homeless raffle, John Wilson, has friend Derek Graff to thank for winning the Harley-Davidson XL1200X 48 worth $19,495.
As part of the 2015 NSWRL 'Hogs for the Homeless Tour’, rugby league legends Brad Fittler, Nathan Hindmarsh, Matt Cooper, Steve Menzies and Ian Schubert traveled from Lismore to Gundagai on their Harley Davidsons to raise money for Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off the Streets.
Since its inception 24 years ago, Youth Off the Streets has grown from just a single food van and has made its way into our great game, delivering meals to thousands of young homeless. NSWRL's Hogs for the Homeless raised $190,000 in the program’s first two years and that figure is set to grow after this year’s journey.
John, who originally bought just one raffle ticket, may be the luckiest man in NSW.
"When I bought the ticket I was standing next to a friend, Derek Graff. I was lucky. I was talking to him because the bloke selling the tickets came over and he said 'buy one, John.' I said 'we’ve already got one' but we bought another ticket and that was the ticket that won,” John said.
Hogs for the Homeless is a fantastic way for current and ex-players to give back to the community, and after completing their third tour, NSWRL are set to go on their fourth trip next year.
"I know they have a good time doing it because they enjoy helping people and they get to ride at the same time. I for one am glad they do it. Everyone’s a winner,” John said.
After claiming their first Origin series victory since 2005, NSW will aim to go back-to-back when they begin preparation in early May. John is a mad Rabbitohs supporter but insists he has no loyalty doubts despite adoring newly appointed Souths captain, Greg Inglis.
"I certainly think NSW can do it again this year, especially after they’ve got a win under their belt. We have got to give these cocky Queenslanders something, they think they are too good. I think the Blues can do it again, for sure,” John said.
As for next year’s tour, NSW legend Ian Schubert has a few places on his radar.
"The Mayor of Cooma wants us back next year. He wants to put a function on. Gibbsy reckons it would be nice to do something in Dubbo. Mudgee are keen too, so we might do a little bit more down this central area if we can and then of course we might rearrange the North Coast as well,” Schubert said.
Congratulations to everyone who got involved in the ride, and for supporting a great cause.