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Trip to the beach ends with $18m Powerball win

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Summer has arrived early for a West Auckland couple, whose trip to the beach ended with an $18.2 million Powerball win.

The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, travelled to Shakespear Regional Park on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula on Saturday for a family beach day. By chance, they stopped to buy a Lotto ticket on the way home.

The man, who is a regular Lotto player, has been playing the same numbers for the last few years after he won $500 with them.

"I just thought they were lucky as I had never won anything before that, so I’ve continued to play the numbers since."

The man had not heard the news that a ticket sold in Whangaparaoa had won Powerball. During a trip to the supermarket on Sunday morning he decided to check his ticket under the self-check ticket scanner. It displayed ‘First Division winner’.

"I didn’t know what that meant. I thought maybe I had won a bonus ticket or maybe $25 but never thought I had won the big one," he said.

The man asked for help from the Lotto operator, who took him aside and discretely told him that he had won Powerball.

"He said to me ‘Your life has just changed forever’."

The man tried to regain his composure and completed his grocery shopping. Arriving home an hour later, the man put the ticket straight in the safe while he thought about how to tell his wife. After a busy evening, they finally they had a moment to themselves.

"He said ‘I need to talk to you’, but I wasn’t really listening to him," said the wife.

"He said ‘Sit down. Sit down now! I need to talk to you’. So I thought to myself ‘Oh my gosh, what does he want’?"

The man showed his wife a picture of the winning numbers on their iPad and said: "That is us."

The wife didn’t understand so he lined up his ticket with the winning numbers and said: "We have won $18.2 million".

"I couldn’t believe it, I still can’t believe it. It feels like we are walking around in a dream," she said.

The couple celebrated their win with a fine bottle of red wine and haven’t really slept since as they come to terms with the life-changing moment.

They plan to use the money to support family and friends, travel overseas, and donate to a number of charities.

The winning ticket was bought at Four Square Gulf Harbour in Whangaparaoa for the Lotto draw on Saturday 23 November.

This is the fourth biggest Powerball win in 2019. In January, a young woman from Inglewood claimed $22.3 million and last month two Auckland players each won $19.1 million.

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