Wishes big Lotto winner is someone from Waitaki

New World Waitaki Lotto counter workers (from left) Karen Mullin, Melissa King and Sebastian...
New World Waitaki Lotto counter workers (from left) Karen Mullin, Melissa King and Sebastian Ruehorn celebrate the win by one of the Oamaru supermarket’s customers. PHOTO: PHIL JANSSEN
Oamaru is buzzing after the buyer of a Lotto ticket at a local supermarket won $18.25 million in the Boxing Day jackpot.

But one question remains: whether the winner was a local or someone passing through.

The winner, who netted a breathtaking $18 million from Powerball and another $250,000 from a quarter share of the $1 million First Division prize on Saturday night, bought their ticket from New World Waitaki.

Store owner Greg Flannery said there was a buzz among staff, customers and the town, and the store was certainly getting a little more attention than usual yesterday.

"Customers have been excited and asking plenty of questions about it.

"The staff are really excited to think the store sold a ticket of that magnitude."

To his knowledge, the store had never sold a ticket with a prize that large, he said.

"As an owner, we used to also own Temuka New World, we have never sold a ticket of this scale."

Mr Flannery said while he had not heard any rumours about who the lucky winner might be, a common comment was that people were hoping it was a local and deserving person.

Also hoping that was the case was Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher.

"If it is in the Waitaki district, it is certainly a nice wee boost for a Waitakian as we finish off this, otherwise, fairly mixed year," he said.

The idea that it was perhaps someone who lived in Oamaru had appeared to excite the community.

Comments circulated on social media, people shared their thoughts on what they would spend the money on, and everyone was waiting with "a lot of interest" to find out if it was someone who lived in the district, Mr Kircher said.

The jackpot swelled to one of the larger wins of the year on Wednesday after no-one registered the winning numbers.

The win caps off a year of big jackpots for Lotto players — particularly in the early months of 2020.

molly.houseman@odt.co.nz

 

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