Couple share moment they won $17m Lotto draw

A man from Morrinsville has claimed his $5.5m prize almost a month after the Lotto draw. Photo:...
After a whirlwind twenty-four hours and with their $17m Powerball prize now claimed, the couple is just beginning to come to terms with the magnitude of their win. Photo: Supplied
A quiet Sunday morning at home took a life-changing turn for a young Auckland couple who discovered they'd just become New Zealand's newest millionaires.

The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, has described the moment they learned they'd claimed Lotto's whopping $17m Powerball First Division prize.

"I was up early with the kids on Sunday morning while my wife had a much-deserved sleep-in," said the man.

"I was flicking through things on my phone when I saw that Powerball had been won and that the winning ticket had been sold at West City Lotto, which is where my wife will often pick up our tickets."

Bursting with anticipation, the man gently woke his wife to see if she had picked up a ticket at West City Lotto that week – which she had.

"All of a sudden, I was wide awake. I hopped out of bed and grabbed the ticket so we could check it right away," said the woman.

"My husband and I sat next to each other in bed and I checked the ticket while he read the winning numbers to me. When I realised that we had the first three numbers, my hands started to shake – let alone when we had all six.

"Then I saw we had the winning Powerball number too … we just couldn't believe it. We sat there in total disbelief, checking and rechecking the ticket," said the woman.

With the reality of their windfall fresh on their minds, the couple jumped straight in the car to share the good news with their family.

"My husband and I both had tears in our eyes when we arrived, so everyone was pretty worried and thought we had bad news to share," the woman said.

Then we told them we had won $17m with Powerball and suddenly everyone was crying tears of joy."

Keen to confirm their big win, the lucky couple headed to their local Lotto store and checked their ticket under the self-checker to make sure they really had won the big one.

"We were so relieved when we saw 'First Division winner' pop up on the screen. We knew we wanted to take the ticket straight to Lotto NZ's head office on Monday, so I just slipped the ticket back in my pocket and headed home," said the woman.

The couple were then faced with a big decision – where to keep their winning ticket.

"I ended up hiding the ticket in a cupboard, so I knew it was safely tucked away," the woman said.

"I kept popping back and checking on the ticket so many times that day, just to make sure it was still there and that I wasn't dreaming – I've never been in that cupboard so often."

After a whirlwind twenty-four hours and with their $17m Powerball prize now claimed, the couple is just beginning to come to terms with the magnitude of their win.

"This win has changed our lives overnight and we are still in a bit of shock to be honest. Family is incredibly important to us, so we want to make sure the win lasts for generations," the man said.

"We are just so excited to be able to set up our family for the future – we feel so incredibly lucky."

Earlier today the owner of the shop that sold the winning ticket had said the store was being swamped by people checking their tickets - as they continue to wait for the winner to come forward.

Sunny Arora has owned the West City Lotto outlet inside the West City shopping mall, in Henderson, West Auckland, for almost five years.

"We're excited, of course. Many customers are coming in today. People think it's a lucky shop. We have sold a few [big] wins."

Some of those big wins included people who had won $40,000 and $50,000 via scratchie tickets recently, Arora said.

As he spelled out his name, he joked: "Sunny like the sun. It's not sunny today, but it is here."

Lucky punter advised to write their name on ticket immediately

The big winner also takes home $166,667 from Lotto First Division.

Arora's shop was not the only lucky store in the country to sell a winning ticket, as five other tickets earned players $166,667 in First Division also.

Out of those five people, two tickets were sold at Countdown Springlands in Blenheim and Pak'nSave Dunedin.

The other three tickets were purchased via the MyLotto app by people in Auckland, Wellington and Southland.

Saturday's winning numbers were 7, 9, 24, 35, 14 and 10. The bonus ball was 1 and Powerball number was 8.

The latest Lotto millionaire joins the list of this year's big Lotto winners.

Theirs is the second biggest win in Lotto Powerball this year, following a $22.5m win to a punter in Christchurch, in February, who got their ticket online.

Other big Lotto Powerball wins this year include a $16.5m win to a MyLotto player in Hamilton early last month, a $14.2m winner in Auckland and a $12.3m winner who bought their ticket at the Hylite Dairy in Auckland in early May.

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