Lotto syndicate started in Dunedin wins $30 million

Tina, of Taupo, is one of 10 women in a syndicate who won $30 million in Saturday’s Lotto draw....
Tina, of Taupo, is one of 10 women in a syndicate who won $30 million in Saturday’s Lotto draw. Photo: NZ Herald.
A syndicate established in Dunedin five years ago has claimed Saturday’s $30million Lotto prize.

"The cream, the cake and the icing" is how one of the 10 lucky winners described their prize.

Winner Tina, who only wants to be known by her first name, spoke for the rest of the group yesterday with a glass of Champagne in hand.

She said it was great the massive prize was split between 10 of them, giving  each $3.025 million, "which makes it a lovely amount for each individual person".

"The most common thing I’ve heard is they’re going to help their families. Make it easier for their children to get into a house or have no mortgage. Just give them a boost."

The women started their syndicate five years ago after they all became friends working in a Dunedin dental clinic.

Every week the women, who are in their 50s and 60s, each put in $2  and bought a $20 lucky dip. Tina now lives in Taupo and some of the others have also moved.

A Lotto spokeswoman  declined to say how many of the women still lived in Dunedin.

Tina first got an inkling they had won at 11pm on Saturday when she saw a note on Facebook that the winning ticket was bought from the Richmond Superette in Taupo.

After checking her numbers online Tina was compelled to share the news and called every woman in the syndicate.

"The more people I told it to the more real it became.

"It was like the Inquisition. They said ‘you’re kidding, you’re joking, you’re pulling my leg’."

The winning ticket was kept safely in a Christmas card behind a picture frame in Tina’s house before the group brought it into the Auckland Lotto Headquarters.

It took them days to organise leave from work so they could all come up together.

"No-one called in sick on Monday, because that’s the kind of ladies we are. Keep calm and carry on," Tina said.

"Now that it’s all happened we can exhale. We’ve all been holding our breath. I’ve been exploding with it."

The group went out for a nice dinner in Auckland last night, drank more Champagne and just enjoyed being together, she said. It was the first time  they had  spent time together in two years.

- Sarah Harris

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