Wanaka New World Lotto staff (from left) Natasha Yeo,
Melissa Foss and Shelly Chou wait for Saturday night's
Lotto winner to call and claim their $1 million prize.
Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
The excitement at Wanaka New World's Lotto counter
yesterday was palpable as staff checked tickets and fielded a
stream of questions from those keen to learn the identity of
the town's newest millionaire.
The supermarket sold Saturday night's winning Lotto first
division ticket but the $1 million prize remained unclaimed
Staff member Natasha Yeo said it seemed the whole town had
heard the news.
''There's plenty of people asking about it.''
Many were checking their own tickets, but excited staff were
yet to scan the winning one.
''And because it's such a tourist town we don't know if it's
someone just passing through town or not.''
Wanaka New World had sold winning scratch cards worth tens of
thousands of dollars in the past, but Miss Yeo could not
recall a Lotto ticket with such a big prize being bought at
the supermarket before.
''We hope it's a local and they do something good for
Wanaka,'' fellow staff member Shelly Chou said, while
surrounded at the Lotto counter by brightly-coloured balloons
bearing ''Congratulations'' messages.
''I wish it was me. I'd donate some for animals, donate some
for children, but I didn't check my ticket yet.''
Lotto communications manager Amanda Boock confirmed the
winner's identity was still a mystery.
''You never know how long it's going to take for them to step
forward because they might have weekly shopping habits and do
it that way.
''We have had a couple of cases lately where people have
forgotten to check their tickets and then checked them a
month later ... either way, what a great surprise it will
It was ''fantastic'' the ticket-holder had won the first
division prize outright and not had to split it with others,
Miss Boock said.
Wanaka's last big Lotto win was last July when a local
retired couple won a $200,000 share of the first division
prize after buying their ticket at the town's Paper Plus
Meanwhile, 84-year-old Ronald from Riverton - identified as
Ronald Squires by Riverton SuperValue, where he bought his
Lotto ticket - spun and won $200,000 on the Winning Wheel on
Lotto's website reported he was looking forward to supporting
his family with his winnings and buying a new car.