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Napier couple waved away suggestions they had won $5 million

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A Napier woman was completely oblivious that she was carrying around a ticket worth $5 million in her handbag for a week!

The woman and her husband, who wish to remain anonymous, are regular Lotto players but never thought they would be the lucky winners.

In fact, when their daughter phoned and encouraged them to check their ticket, they didn’t think they needed to bother.

"My daughter knows that I buy my tickets from the store that sold the winning one, but I just said "dream on!" laughed the lady. "It never occurred to me to check the ticket.

"So when I sent her a photo of the claim form later in the week - well, she was very excited!"

The couple are Napier locals who bought two tickets for the mammoth $50 million draw - one Triple Dip and one with their own numbers. They only discovered they had won on Saturday - a week after the Must be Won draw - when they went in to buy their ticket for that night’s draw and asked the person at the Lotto counter to check their tickets from the last draw.

"I sat in the car while my wife went into the shop to get the ticket for Saturday," said the husband. "She was taking ages and I was wondering what was going on. The people in the car next to me had also gone into the store and come out with a ticket, but there was no sign of my wife.

"Then I saw her coming towards the car with a big smile on her face, and she handed me the claim form through the window and was laughing.

‘One of my first questions was whether we won from our own numbers or the Dip ticket - turns out it was the Dip," he said.

The woman said the moment she realised they’d won was surreal. "I don’t swear very often, but I did at that moment," laughed the woman. "When I saw how much we had won I thought ‘am I really seeing this’"?

The couple celebrated their win with a drink, and a modest dinner of cheese on toast. "I went straight to the top shelf for the rum," joked the man who was feeling a bit shaken by the win. "But when it came to food - we couldn’t really stomach a lot!"

The couple are taking time to reassess their future, and planning how they will spend the unexpected windfall. They want to help their children buy their first homes, go on an overseas holiday when they can, and plan to lock the rest away while they seek financial advice.

"We’re still trying to come to terms with the win," said the woman. "I can’t help but feel guilty when I buy myself something new, but I guess I won’t be doing that anymore."

Meanwhile, Lotto NZ’s Head of Communications, Marie Winfield, was waiting for the 10th Powerball winner to claim their prize.

"Nine out of the ten winners who shared the $50 million prize had claimed their winnings within a few days, but the Napier winner was proving to be elusive," she said. "It’s unusual for such a big prize to go unclaimed for nearly a week - we usually hear from winners within a few days - especially given the publicity around the big prize!" said Marie.

"I had a feeling the prize would be claimed on Saturday as I’d guessed that whoever was sitting on the ticket was completely unaware they had won, and was likely to check their ticket when buying one for that night’s draw - and sure enough that is exactly what happened. Talking to the lucky couple was incredibly special - and we’re thrilled that all $50 million has now been paid out to all our winners."

The winning ticket was sold at Andrew Spence Pharmacy for the $50 million Must Be Won draw on Saturday 15 August 2020.

For more information about Lotto NZ’s results for Saturday’s draw please go to the media releases on

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