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Sunday walk surprise - $10.3 million for Auckland woman

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Powerball has been on a winning streak with seven lucky Kiwis becoming overnight multi-millionaires since the beginning of 2020.

"To see so many winners recently has been fantastic. They are all such deserving people who have had their lives, and the lives of those around them, changed for the better," said Marie Winfield, Head of Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility at Lotto NZ.

"Powerball is certainly on a winning streak - the jackpot hasn’t been higher than $15 million since the $50 million Must Be Won at the end of February and has been struck five times since then."

New Zealand’s newest overnight multi-millionaire, a woman from Auckland, was completely unaware there was a winning ticket on the loose as she went for her walk on Sunday.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, had bought her ticket earlier in the week, popped it in her bag for safekeeping, and forgotten all about it.

"I buy tickets when I’m feeling lucky," said the woman. "I buy a dip ticket - I like to leave it to luck and chance."

While out for a walk on Sunday, the woman stopped at Richmond Road Superette to check her ticket. She scanned it under the self-check ticket checker first.

"I scanned my ticket, but it must have been crumpled as the machine couldn’t read it, so I straightened it out and scanned it again," said the woman.

"The words ‘Congratulations Division 1 Winner’ popped up - I was really surprised, but unsure of what it meant."

The woman took her ticket over to the Lotto operator and asked her to check it.

"The lady put my ticket through the machine. She looked up and said, ‘you’ve won $10.3 million’ and we just kind of stared at each other for quite some time, not knowing what to do!"

"I was so shocked, I needed to sit down, the lady and her manager brought me a chair. I suddenly felt really hot and started to remove the many layers I had needed earlier on my walk!"

The women locked the store, took the winner into their back room and gave her some water while they called Lotto NZ.

"They were so happy for me, and very helpful at quite an overwhelming time which I really appreciated - even their dog seemed concerned and sat on my lap as if to try and help," joked the winner.

After chatting with Lotto NZ’s winner’s team, and feeling much calmer, the winner decided to go and buy her fruit and veg for the week while she thought of how to share the news with her family.

"It was such a beautiful day outside, and I think the normality of wandering around the market really helped," said the woman.

"It was a bit like I was living in a dream - it felt like everyone was smiling at me, like they all knew that something amazing had just happened. I’m so unbelievably happy - this really couldn’t have come at a better time."

Later, the woman gathered her family and told them the news.

"They couldn’t believe it - it was amazing to see their faces light up when they realised it was true. Everyone was so overjoyed and there were lots of hugs and kisses."

With the money now safely in the woman’s bank account, she is looking towards her future.

"It’s still very early days, but the one thing that springs to mind is being able to buy my first home - it always felt like such an unachievable goal, but this win makes it all possible now."

The winning ticket was sold at Richmond Road Superette for the draw on Wednesday 17 June 2020.

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