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Auckland woman drove around with $1 million winning Lotto ticket in her glove box for eight months

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

An Auckland woman got the surprise of her life over Anzac weekend when she checked an old Lotto ticket - and found she had been driving around with $1 million in her glove box for the past eight months.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, bought her ticket on a whim after stopping to grab some lunch for her and her son back in August.

"I was waiting for our sushi and thought I’d grab a Lotto ticket from the dairy while I was there," she said.

"I popped the ticket in the glove box when I got back in the car - and then forgot all about it."

Later that week, the woman and her husband had heard that a $1 million prize had been won in their area but thought nothing of it.

"You never think it will be you, do you? To be honest, I had totally forgotten that I’d bought a ticket anyway," she laughed.

Then last week she happened to stop at the same sushi shop for lunch, and decided to clear out her glove box while she was waiting.

"I was rummaging around when I suddenly saw the ticket," she said. "I thought I might as well check it while I was near the dairy."

Handing her ticket over, she watched the Lotto operator check it - and was surprised to hear the winning music play.

"I thought it was a small prize at first, but then the man smiled and told me I had won $1 million!

"I was actually really calm, but I think that might have been because I was in shock!" laughed the woman.

After filling in her Prize Claim Form - and picking up her sushi - she went home to wait for her husband.

"I was so excited to tell him - I wanted to call him straight away! But I managed to wait until he came home.

"When he walked in, I blurted out, ‘I’ve got a surprise for you!’ - but he didn’t think anything of it because we often surprise each other."

The woman handed her husband the claim receipt with ‘$1,000,000’ printed on it, explaining she had bought the ticket back in August and it had been in their car the whole time.

"He kept looking at me, then at the receipt, and back at me again. Eventually he said, ‘is this for real?’

"It was so amazing to be able to say, ‘yes darling, it’s real.’

"He couldn’t believe we had been driving around for eight months with, essentially, $1 million in our car.

"But we’re big believers that everything happens for a reason, so we do trust that this was the time we were supposed to find the ticket and claim our prize."

Later that night, they took their family out for dinner to celebrate and discuss plans for the future.

"This win is life-changing for us," she said. "We want to buy a house and a new car, and this win is going to help us do that. It brings us so much comfort knowing we have a buffer there too."

The $1 million winning Lotto First Division ticket was sold at Xpress Mart in Auckland for the draw on Saturday 14 August 2021.

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