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New Plymouth family stunned at $19 mil windfall

Media Release
7 April 2008

New Plymouth family stunned at $19 million windfall

A New Plymouth family are in shock after winning a massive $19 million on Lotto Powerball, says NZ Lotteries' Chief Executive Todd McLeay.

The millions will be shared amongst several family members who travelled to NZ Lotteries' Wellington office today to claim their prize.

The family, who wishes to remain anonymous, had been taking it in turns to buy a weekly Lotto ticket. One son purchased his ticket during his weekly shop for groceries at New Plymouth's Pak N Save.

"To be honest, I just chucked it in a drawer and forgot about it. On the Sunday afternoon after the draw, I remembered I had a ticket and thought I would check it. I did not know Powerball had gone to New Plymouth, and when I saw the $19 million had been won on Teletext I just thought 'lucky bugger' …" he said.

"Then I checked my numbers on my ticket, and on one of the bottom lines I realised I had a complete match up.

"I just screamed, and then yelled out 'Mum, Mum", he said.

The winning mother adds, "I went running down the hall thinking he had hurt himself, and I just saw him standing there shaking, with the ticket in his hand.

"We immediately rang the other family members who were to share in the win, and said we have won Lotto! They took a while to believe us.

"We got hardly any sleep on the Sunday night and then all decided to come to Wellington," she said.

The family plan to put their winnings away safely and to take some financial advice with their respective windfalls.

One family member said he always wanted to retire by 35 and now he will be able to fulfil that dream. Another family member has always wanted a James Bond car, so he will do some shopping for an Aston Martin.

And the mother wants to do some work for charity to share some of their good fortune. "I have always supported the work of hospices as they do so much good for the community – now the time is right to do some more for them," she said.

The family is very mindful that their good luck happened on the same day as a horrific fire occurred in Hamilton. "Our hearts go out to those firefighters and their families who have been affected by that terrible tragedy," the mother said.

The winning ticket was sold at Pak N Save in New Plymouth and is worth a total of $19,054,243, which is made up of $18,816,031 from Powerball First Division and $238,212 from Lotto First Division. This is the biggest Powerball prize ever won by a single ticket.

New Plymouth Pak N Save Owner/operator Alan Melody said they were very happy that the big prize had been won by locals and that it would be shared amongst several people. "The shop has been buzzing all day with the news and it is nice to hear that it has now been claimed," he said.

The previous largest combined Lotto Powerball First Division prize won to date was $17,992,975 won by an Auckland couple who purchased their ticket at Kaeo Four Square in May 2006.


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