updated 5/28/2009 12:41:31 PM ET 2009-05-28T16:41:31

An Australian student worried about her parents' money problems rifled through a pile of her lottery tickets Thursday and discovered that she had won $10 million 10 months ago, a state lottery agency said.

The student, living in the west coast city of Perth, received the winning ticket for a draw on July 22 last year as a gift from her father, Western Australia state agency Lotterywest said.

She had been unaware that it would have expired after 12 months, it said in a statement.

"I woke up this morning worried about our finances. Something made me think to check the tickets and I thought that if I win something, then I could help mom and dad out," Lotterywest quoted her as saying. She declined to be identified by name.

"The people close to me will be looked after and I might give some to research or a charity of some kind. It's nice to have this much to fulfill my dreams and the dreams of the people around me," she told the agency.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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