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Turangi local unwraps $8.6 million present

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Santa came early to a Turangi couple this week and he didn’t slip down the chimney - he was waiting at the local Lotto store with $8.6 million.

The winner, who wishes to remain anonymous, has unwrapped an incredible early Christmas present after winning both First and Second Division on Big Wednesday.

Turangi has been abuzz since learning the winning ticket was sold from a local store, so the winner didn’t waste much time finding out if she had the lucky ticket.

"I was driving to the store and sort of saying ‘please let it be me’, but still not really thinking it would be," said the winner.

"When I checked the tickets in-store, one said ‘Second Division’ and the other said ‘First Division’. I just started shaking and could barely breathe."

As luck would have it, when the winner went into the store they were hanging posters and balloons to celebrate selling the big winning ticket.

"We were just chatting about the win and hanging up balloons when this woman comes up with two tickets in her hand and says ‘Ummm, I think I’ve won’," said Turangi Civic Video Manager Bevan Topp.

"We checked the tickets, and the winner let out a big scream. It was really exciting - we were all buzzing for hours afterwards."

The woman had to sit down with a cup of tea to calm her nerves before she was able to get in touch with her partner to let him know that they’d just won a life-changing amount of money.

"When I told my partner he was so flustered, he just keep wandering around saying ‘oh no, oh no, oh no’ - he was excited, but it just couldn’t sink in. Now we’re both just saying ‘oh yes!’" the winner said.

The couple are proud Turangi locals and are looking forward to being able to contribute some money back into their community.

"We’re all like family around here. Walking to the shops can take an hour by the time you stop and say hello to everyone on the way."

Despite a sleepless night thinking about their incredible win, the couple are over-joyed at the possibilities it brings to their life.

"We’re just so happy and amazed. Most weeks we talk about what we’d do if we won Lotto - and now we have!

"I don’t know how our lives are going to change because of this win, but for now we feel so fortunate and blessed."

The winning Big Wednesday ticket was sold at Turangi Civic Video. The total prize is made up of $8.5 million from First Division and $151,720 from Second Division. It is the biggest lottery prize ever won in Turangi.

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