A Whakatāne woman had an extra special Matariki holiday weekend after finding out her little yellow ticket that she bought on a whim, had won her $12.25 million.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, picks up a ticket about once a month, and was out running errands last Wednesday when she decided to pop into her local store and grab a Power Dip for that night’s draw.
“I was out doing some chores as I usually do when I remembered it was Wednesday and thought I’d pick up a ticket.”
She tucked her lucky ticket away in her purse, finished her errands and went about the rest of her day.
The next day, she headed into town for an appointment and checked her ticket while she waited.
She hadn’t heard there was a big win in her area, so was shocked when the winning music played and the Lotto operator took her to one side, quietly telling her she had won Powerball.
“When the lady showed me the receipt, I thought it said $1200, but she soon told me ‘Not $1200… $12 million!’
“I was really shocked. I was a bit hot and bothered and I didn’t know what to do, but luckily the people in the shop helped me,” says the woman.
“I have no idea how I still managed to go to my appointment after that,” she laughs.
Afterwards, the woman went home and called her son with the good news.
“Mum was cool as a cucumber. She calmly told me she had won Lotto… but she didn’t tell me how much, so when I went round and saw the ticket and claim form, I was blown away,” he says.
The pair made a plan to head up to Auckland, so they could claim the prize in person.
“The drive up was surreal. We were chatting about all the things Mum could do with the money – first on her list is getting a new phone,” he says.
With the win safely claimed, the woman is looking forward to celebrating with her family.
“I can’t wait to celebrate – I think we’ll have some fine wine and dining while we’re in Auckland,” she says.
The woman plans to take some time to let her win sink in before making any big decisions, but would like to do some home renovations and go on a trip.
“This win represents freedom and will help our family a lot.
“There are some things I want to do around the house, so it came at a really good time.
“I’d also love to go on a helicopter flight around the South Island,” says the woman.