Winner closer to retiring

A Wanaka woman has claimed a $1 million windfall - the largest lottery prize won in the town.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, won Lotto first division last weekend after buying the winning ticket at Wanaka New World.

Eager to get the money in the bank, she travelled to Auckland to claim her prize at the Lotto office on Wednesday afternoon.

She had been having a leisurely Sunday morning, lying in bed reading a book, when her partner called from the next room that someone in Wanaka had won Lotto.

''So I thought: 'All right, I may as well check my ticket','' the winner said.

''I had all six numbers on one row, so I called him in and told him we'd won. He knew I was serious; it's not the kind of thing I'd joke about.''

Her partner double-checked the ticket though, just to be sure.

The pair planned to both keep working, ''but it feels like we're closer to retirement now. Winning Lotto will make that easier''.

Lotto New Zealand head of corporate communications Emilia Mazur told the Otago Daily Times the winner was a long-term local, not one of Wanaka's many seasonal residents.

She could not confirm whether the couple were married or provide any identifying details.

This was not the first time the winner's Lotto numbers had been drawn.

''All of my numbers came up once several years ago but I hadn't got a ticket that week. I couldn't believe it, so I never forget to get my ticket now,'' the woman said.



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