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$500,000 Prize Waited For Manawatu Woman

Media Release 13 November 2006

$500,000 Instant Kiwi Prize Waited For Manawatu Woman

A lucky Manawatu shopper's decision to claim a winning Instant Kiwi bonus ticket couldn't have been more perfectly timed, winning the lucky woman $500,000 last week.

NZ Lotteries Chief Executive, Todd McLeay, says the woman won the huge prize, which pays out $50,000 a year for the next ten years, on a $6 Set for Life ticket, after cashing in a 'bonus ticket' prize she had been carrying around in her handbag for a month.

"I don't often get them [tickets], but I had an old one in my bag that had a free ticket on it, which I'd been carrying around for about a month," says the lucky winner.

"I remembered it was in my bag, so I decided to cash it in," she says.

The woman, who is in her early thirties, and wishes to remain anonymous, says the win still hasn't sunk in.

"It's quite strange because you go about day-to-day life and forget about it [the win], then all of a sudden you'll remember," she says.

The big win was in no way forecast by the woman, who cashed in and scratched the ticket while she was doing some shopping in Palmerston North.

Ken Lusby from Inner City Lotto & Post in Palmerston North where the ticket was purchased, said the winning woman was very emotional when she found out she'd won a $500,000 prize.

"I pulled her aside, held her hand and asked, 'Do you know how much you've won?' When she said 'No,' I told her and her eyes filled up with tears, she was very emotional," said Mr Lusby.

The lucky winner plans to keep her win quiet and has only told a few close relatives.

"My husband was thrilled. We still haven't celebrated properly yet, we just haven't had the time.

"I've paid off my credit card and I think we'll look at investing in property. We might have to take a holiday to celebrate too," she says.

There are two top prizes remaining on Instant Kiwi Set for Life.

ENDS

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