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$13.1 Million Bombshell for Big Wednesday Winner

$13.1 Million Bombshell for Big Wednesday's 1st First Division Winner

A random ticket check resulted in a $13.1 million bombshell for Big Wednesday's first ever 1st Division winner who had no idea they'd won, says NZ Lotteries Chief Executive Trevor Hall.

The lucky winner, from the central North Island, who bought a ticket at Martina Four Square & Lotto in Thames, won Big Wednesday First Division, worth $11,241,184 million plus $1,578,940 in luxury prizes which included:

- Porsche 911 Carrera;
- Range Rover Vogue V8;
- $50,000 worth of luxury travel every year for five years;
- $250,000 American Express Platinum card;
- Mustang luxury launch; and a
- $500,000 holiday home.

Because the player had bought a Big Wednesday dip ticket covering both heads and tails, they also won Big Wednesday Second Division, worth another $233,979, giving them total winnings of $13,054,103.

"When purchasing a Big Wednesday ticket, a player can add both heads and tails to their numbers, which would result in them winning both First and Second Divisions if they have the correct six numbers," says Mr Hall.

The winner, who wishes to remain anonymous, was doubly lucky, as not only had he not got around to checking his ticket until several days after the draw; he had almost not bought a ticket for the huge jackpot at all.

"Like everyone else I knew about Big Wednesday and that the game was jackpotting, and I kept on meaning to buy a ticket, but I kept on forgetting.

"But last week, I got my act together and remembered to buy a ticket.

"I heard about the draw and that that big prize had been won by a ticket sold in Thames, but I had my ticket stuck in the back of my wallet and wasn't in any hurry to get it checked.

"I had absolutely no idea that I'd won anything until I went and got the ticket checked and when it went through the machine the lottery operator gave me the strangest look.

"They took me to another part of the store and told me that I'd won the big one."

The lucky winner says the enormity of the win is still sinking in.

"I haven't been sleeping – all these things keep racing around in my head. It's just so much money to win, and there's so much to think about.

"I'm going to put it in the bank for a while and think about it, and then decide what I'll do, but family will definitely be the main beneficiary."

The prize is the third largest individual prize every won in a NZ Lotteries game, and the first Big Wednesday First Division prize to be won. The largest, a Powerball prize of $15.2 million, was won on a ticket sold in Mt Roskill, Auckland, in September 2005, and the second largest was a $14.7 million Powerball prize won by a ticket sold at Meikles Pharmacy in Kawerau in April 2004.

Mr Hall says that all the players who missed out on being the first Big Wednesday 1st Division winner are still in with a chance to become multi-millionaires with $2 million plus a Range Rover Vogue V8 and a stylish Porsche 911 Carrera on offer with Big Wednesday tomorrow.


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