Big-winning ticket bought 'with two minutes to spare'

The $6.5 million Powerball prize was won on December 27 by a ticket sold at Levin Lucky Lotto....
A South Auckland family who scooped $19 million in Wednesday's Powerball jackpot bought the winning ticket online just minutes before the big draw.

"My husband turned to me at 7.22pm and said 'we didn't get a Lotto ticket! You better race down to the dairy and pick one up', but I knew there wouldn't be enough time – so I logged on to MyLotto instead," said the winner.

"I hadn't bought a ticket on MyLotto in quite a while, so needed to find my card and top up my account – I was racing all over the house! I ended up clicking 'buy' with two minutes to spare."

But it wasn't until the following day after the woman heard two MyLotto players had split the $38m jackpot that she remembered to check her ticket.

"When I logged in and saw all six numbers and the Powerball on one line… well, I was sure that I had made a mistake! My husband was at work, so I rushed to find a family member to double check the ticket for me. We both stood there absolutely blown away – it was unbelievable," the winner said.

She managed to contain her excitement and kept the big news a surprise from her husband until he arrived home from work that evening.

"I stepped through the door and she handed her phone to me straight away," the husband said.

"I saw MyLotto on the screen, looked at her and said, 'We haven't won Lotto, have we?' – then I looked at the ticket and saw $19,142,857 stamped across it. There were a few tears from both of us after that!"

Meanwhile, a mother from Central Auckland is the other Powerball winner to claim her $19m prize today.

She had bought her ticket well ahead of time as she plays the same lucky numbers each draw.

"I sat down with the kids a few months ago and we picked a bunch of lucky numbers that I've been playing ever since.

"They've been pretty lucky over the past few months, winning prizes here and there – nothing big, but good little wins."

On Wednesday evening, the woman was sitting in the lounge with her daughter when she decided to check her ticket.

"The website was pretty busy, so we decided to check the winning numbers against our lucky numbers ourselves," the winner said.

"I play the same numbers each draw, so just pulled them up on my phone."

The woman's daughter said she was reading the winning numbers out one by one.

"I heard Mum say, 'Yes, yes, yes…' – they just kept coming. I couldn't believe it. We both started screaming and raced to find my brother to double check what we were seeing."

After checking and re-checking the winning ticket, it wasn't until the mother saw an email the next day advising that she had a prize to claim that the reality of her windfall began to sink in.

"When I logged into MyLotto and a prize claim form popped up, I started to let myself believe it was true. The whole thing still feels like a dream – I think it will for a while yet," the mother said.

As the reality of their new-found wealth begins sinking in, both winners are looking forward to setting themselves up for the future and helping family.

Travel is also on the cards, with the South Auckland couple planning to treat the kids to a family holiday.

"It'll be great to have some quality time together as a family – wherever we end up going, that's the most important thing."

The central Auckland mother is treating herself to a luxury holiday before indulging the kids with a family holiday this Christmas.

"I'm going to treat myself to a relaxing island holiday – I'm thinking an overwater bungalow somewhere warm… what better way to celebrate such a life-changing moment," she said.

"After that, I've promised the kids that we'll go somewhere special overseas for Christmas this year. It's not something we've ever been able to do before, so we're all really excited. It will be a Christmas to remember!"

Both winning tickets for Wednesday's $38m Powerball draw were sold online at MyLotto.

It is shaping up to be a winning year for Powerball players, with 14 Kiwis winning Powerball First Division so far this year.

In total 33 Kiwis have become millionaires with Lotto NZ's games in 2019 to date.

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