Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

$22.6 million winner - 'such a bizarre experience'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

With the Lotto Powerball jackpot at $25 million this weekend, a lot of people up and down New Zealand will be wondering what it feels like to win that much money - and what you would do with it!

Someone who knows is a Christchurch resident who late last year won $22.6 million with Big Wednesday.

The winning draw was held on 25 September 2013 and became the talk of the town for weeks as the prize went unclaimed. Friends, neighbours and workmates in Christchurch were telling each other - if you’ve got any tickets lying around, check them.

In the end, Lotto New Zealand used its gaming system to track down the lucky winner almost a month after the prize had been won.

"The first I had any clue was when there was a knock at my door," said the winner.

Once the money was in the bank, the winner started contemplating his future - whether to stay working, whether to build the house of his dreams, and how much his life would change.

Five months on, and the winner is living his lottery dream.

"It’s such a bizarre experience winning that much money. I think about it all the time," the winner said.

"But I’m still working. I get bored easily! So I want to make sure I have something to keep me occupied when I decide to finish work."

And what about the house of his dreams that he was planning to build in Christchurch?

"Well, I don’t need a loan from the bank anymore to build a house," he laughed, "so I’ve started planning my dream house."

So while the winner has taken the slow and steady approach to spending his fortune, he is grateful for the way his life has changed.

"Life has changed - you can’t deny it," he said. "What’s different? I give more money to charities now; I help as much as I can without thinking twice. It’s a nice feeling."

Following his approach, he has one piece of advice for any big winners this weekend.

"Don’t spend like a maniac. Just get used to the money slowly before you make big changes."

Lotto Powerball is worth $25 million this weekend making it one of the biggest prizes on offer in the history of the game.

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