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Champagne Celebrations For Waitakere And Rotorua $8 Million Winners

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

2 July 2008 - Two different sets of Lotto Powerball winners have had sleepless nights since realising they had won $8,258,094 each.

The two families, from Waitakere and Rotorua, travelled to NZ Lotteries in Wellington to claim their massive prize - and shared some champagne to mark the occasion, said NZ Lotteries' Chief Executive, Todd McLeay.

The Rotoura winning man realised he had won something major when taking his ticket to be checked at a local dairy.

"The Lotto lady asked me how my heart was. Then she told me to sit down and asked me if I knew what I had won. I said that I didn't have a clue - then could not believe it when she said I was a multi-millionaire.

"I have never even won a meat raffle - so I could not believe it! I rang my wife to tell her the news and she thought I had been in a car accident because my voice sounded so funny," he said.

The winning Rotorua couple plan to help out friends and family with their win.

"We also would like to give some money away to worthy causes - as we will have trouble spending so many millions by ourselves," they said.

"We are just so glad we shared that big Powerball prize with another family", the Rotorua winners said. The Waitakere winners realised they had a yellow ticket worth $8 million when they checked their ticket online on Sunday night following the draw - and saw the prize had been won locally.

"We kept the ticket hidden in a big book until we could discreetly get to the Camera & Printz in Westgate shop and claim our prize. The manager was great - he took us out the back and calmed me down," the winning woman said.

"It's quite a bizarre feeling to realise you are big winners and we are now leading a bit of a double life - pretending everything is normal on the outside but having a big celebration on the inside.

"We will put the money away safely and think about our options for the future. But we want to make sure that our family are well looked after. However we do plan a shopping trip in the near future - and I have my eye on a flash handbag," the winning Waitakere woman said.

The winning tickets were purchased at Camera & Printz Westgate in Waitakere and Countdown Rotorua in Rotorua, and are worth a total of $8,258,094 each, with $8 million from Powerball First Division and $258,094 from Lotto First Division.

Just over two months ago, a ticket sold at Pak N Save New Plymouth won the largest-ever combined Lotto Powerball prize of $19,054,243.

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