Teen hooks million-dollar barramundi

Keegan Payne holds the barramundi that netted him a $1 million prize.

Keegan Payne holds the barramundi that netted him a $1 million prize. Photo: AAP

A 19-year-old has snagged the catch of a lifetime, reeling in a tagged barramundi worth $1 million in Australia’s richest fishing competition.

Keegan Payne was fishing in the Northern Territory’s Katherine River with one of his sisters and a friend when he hooked the fish on Sunday morning.

The teen was blown away when told he had won the massive prize.

“This is crazy for us. We’re a big family, there’s eight of us, this is more money than we could ever ask for,” Keegan said.

“I can buy what I want, maybe help dad and mum out with the home loans.”

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The barramundi was released into Top End waters for the ninth season of the annual Million Dollar Fish competition.

Organisers release more than 100 red-tagged fish in Darwin, Katherine, Arnhem Land, Kakadu and Tiwi Islands waterways each year. Some are worth $1 million and others $10,000.

Season nine has resulted in eight anglers sharing in $80,000 by catching $10,000 fish.

It is the first time in the competition’s nine years that the major prize has been won.

Since the competition started in 2015, it has generated more than $70 million in extra spending in the NT and lured more than 10,000 visitors from across the globe to the Top End, providing a significant boost to the tourism industry and businesses.

Charities have also benefited, with sponsor Sportsbet paying $1000 to the angler’s Million Dollar Fish charity partner of choice every time a $10,000 fish is caught.

Keegan’s million-dollar barramundi means $10,000 will be donated to the Cancer Council.


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