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A Southland couple have been counting their lucky stars after winning big in last weekend's Lotto First Division.
The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, travelled to Auckland this week to claim their $1 million prize in person at Lotto NZ’s Head Office.
Having purchased the ticket in Milton on his way home, it wasn’t until late Saturday night he discovered how fortunate that decision was.
"I normally watch the live draw each week on TV but I was at work function so I only checked my ticket when I got home," he said.
After he scanned his ticket on the Lotto NZ App, the message displayed ‘Major Prize Winner’.
"I thought 'Oh cool, I have probably won something like a $1000'.
"I looked down to line F and five of the numbers lined up. When I saw the sixth number, I said ‘Oh my God, I have won a million dollars’."
He immediately called his wife to tell her the good news and finally got the message out with tears running down his face.
"He kept saying ‘We are millionaires, we are millionaires’… We both couldn’t believe we had won Lotto," she said.
They said they had trouble sleeping that night from excitement, and he slept with the lucky piece of paper under his pillow.
He kept it tucked away in the coin section of his wallet in his front pocket of his jeans and guarded it safely until he called Lotto NZ on Monday morning to verify his win.
"That is when it all hit me, when I called Lotto it all became real and I was so emotional that I couldn’t even speak."
With the money now in their bank account, the couple are looking forward to being semi-retired. They want to spend more time with family and travel to places on their bucket list.
"This win will give us the chance to enjoy life a bit more," the man said.
"It will take the pressure off and give us some options. We want to make sure we enjoy it."
The ticket was purchased at the Milton Night n Day in Milton for the Lotto draw on Saturday November 9.