Video transcript: Matt and Lauren's story
[Lauren and Matt at the beach, sitting on rocks overlooking the water and walking along the pier]
Lauren: I first met Matt six years ago through a girlfriend who used to go and watch his local footy at Chelsea footy club.
Matt: Didn't leave her alone for about four hours so I thought she would have hated me but she actually found that to be really nice.
Went on few dates and went from there. So it was my persistence, like I do on a footy field that sort of won her over.
[Lauren and Matt sitting at picnic table in a park]
Lauren: Early dating - we were definitely still in that party zone, so going out a lot. So it was all fun times.
[Poker machines spinning]
I realised Matt's gambling probably the first six months of our relationship. When we were going to the pub every Saturday night or Sunday and he was putting little bets on and then it started to kind of escalate.
Matt: I'd say a lot of things to her to get that money, whether it'd be making up that I've got a massive fine to pay or you know, it was always a white lie.
Lauren: I think he borrowed close to six grand over two or three years.
Matt: She'd watch me start playing and then she'd always say, hey that's enough, let's go and I was pretty arrogant back in those days so I'd just be persistent and go - no no, just fifty more, just a hundred more.
[A man in a gambling venue exchanges a note for coins]
[Lauren walking along bridge]
Lauren: I would get very emotional and cry and stress and not realise or just try and work out why, why he was like this and why he'd push me away when I'd be trying to support him and get him out of this rut.
[Lauren and Matt in kitchen]
Matt: Still to this day I don't understand how she hung around.
Lauren: The first time I confronted Matt about his gambling I just said, why? Why is there an issue and why do you feel that you need to spend all your money and to play these games?
Matt: Any other normal person would have walked out the door and said, stuff you.
Lauren: I could see that we were going to have a future and I was up for the challenge of that long road ahead, trying to help Matt.
Matt: Gambling has certainly started to take its toll...
Lauren: A girlfriend of mine's mother, does some market research actually called me saying that she'd had a Gambler's Help research that was going on. She called Matt straight away, he went for an interview and he was chosen and it was the best opportunity that he could have ever taken.
[Matt with camera equipment]
Matt: What it involved was a camera at our homes and I had mine in my bedroom and we were just four people which were going to come out to the world and let everyone know that we had a problem with gambling and that we'd come to that realisation and we wanted it to stop.
Lauren: I saw a massive change over the 100 day challenge.
[Footage from Matt's videos over 100 days]
Lauren: At the start he was quite low but he just became a totally different person. He's whole outcome on the money and savings.
[Matt and Lauren on sofa watching television]
Matt: If you can notice any of the warning signs going the wrong way in their life, the best thing you can do is not accuse them, just to be there for them.
[People crossing over bridge, Lauren in living room, Matt on bridge]
Lauren: It scares me a little bit knowing that if I left, where he would be. I assume he still be doing the same thing and he'd still be in that rut, but I'm very proud of myself and of Matt and everyone that's helped us with the support to be where we are today. To be having a house and for all the goals that Matt's achieved.
[Matt and Lauren in front of their home]
[Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation and Gambler's Help logo displays]