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Auckland holidaymakers scoop $16.5 million Powerball prize

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

An Auckland man’s decision to stop at Wellsford’s ‘lucky Lotto shop’ on the way home from holiday has turned out to a lucky one, landing the lucky winner $16.5 million in Saturday night’s Powerball draw.

Returning from holiday, the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, stopped in Wellsford to grab some dinner for the kids, before going to Woodys Winners to grab his Lotto ticket.

"The store is quite well-known for being lucky so whenever I’m driving past, I try to stop in," said the man.

Tucking his lucky Lotto ticket away in his wallet, the man drove back to Auckland and forgot about it until Saturday night.

"I was sitting on the couch about to go to bed when I saw on Facebook that Woodys had sold the big one - which got me a bit excited," said the man.

Not wanting to get ahead of himself, the man ran outside to get his ticket from the car.

"I sat there with my phone in one hand and my ticket in the other checking off the numbers one by one with a pencil. When I saw all the numbers on the first line, I thought ‘no way, this can’t be real’," said the man.

Half running, half walking, the man raced back into the house and headed straight into the bedroom to tell his partner the good news.

"When he came into the room, I thought something bad had happened - he was shaking and wasn’t making any sense at all. Then he finally managed to get the words out ‘We’ve won... we’ve won Powerball!" said the man’s partner.

Going into the lounge, the man and his partner then spent the next little while checking and re-checking the ticket to make sure there had been no mistake.

"By this time, the kids must have heard all the commotion because one by one they sheepishly came out into the lounge to see what was going on. We had a bit of a family celebration in the lounge," said the man.

Unwilling to part with his multi-million dollar ticket, the man tucked it into his jumper pocket and tried to go to sleep.

"I didn’t get a wink of sleep that night. Every few hours, I would pat my pocket to make sure the ticket was still there," laughed the man.

With the couple planning to claim their prize at Lotto NZ’s Auckland head office on Monday, the man and his family decided to celebrate the windfall with a Sunday roast.

"We went over to my partner’s parents for dinner and they put on a roast with all the trimmings. It was the perfect way to celebrate with all the kids and grandkids," said the winner.

With $16.5 million in his bank account, the lucky man is now turning his attention to how he might spend this life-changing prize.

"We’re going to buy our first house together. It’s something we’ve always dreamed of and now it’s going to be a reality.

"We’re also going to put some money aside for the kids and grandkids to make sure they are set up for years to come."

With their wedding coming up this summer, the happy couple have decided they won’t be making any big changes to their big day as result of the win.

"We’re happy with what we’ve planned, but I think we’ll be definitely upgrading the engagement ring," laughed the man.

The winning ticket was sold at Woodys Winners in Wellsford for the Lotto draw on Saturday 20 July.

This is eleventh time Powerball First Division has been struck so far this year.

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