Missing millionaire claims $17.1 million
22 January 2020
The search for Lotto NZ’s missing millionaire is over. The winner of the $17.1 million Powerball prize has finally come forward to claim their prize – over three weeks after winning the life-changing amount.
As speculation swirled about why the prize had not been claimed – the winner was quietly coming to terms with the enormity of the win and decided to lay low for a while before contacting Lotto NZ.
The winner, who wishes to remain anonymous, lives in the South Island with their family and bought their ticket from The Market Store in Twizel for the 28 December draw.
Once the winner realised they were in possession of the lucky $17.1 million yellow ticket, they tucked it away in a safe place for a few days to let the news sink in.
“I wasn’t in a rush to claim the prize – and I needed some time to process things. It’s all been very surreal,” they said.
“Once I heard about the big win, I checked my ticket and couldn’t believe it when I saw I had all of the numbers. I had to re-check the ticket multiple times before I was convinced that I had won – and even then I kept going back and looking at the ticket to make sure I had got it right. I just couldn’t believe it – I’m still in shock.
“This is going to change our lives – what an amazing way to start the year,” they said.
The winner is focused on how they can help others with the win, including plans to pay off the mortgages of close family members. They are also planning some overseas travel – something they never thought would be a possibility.
“I’ve travelled a little, but never thought I would ever have the chance to travel more. I have so many options now, and life will be so much easier.”
The winner also plans to donate some of their winnings to a number of charities.
The winner was not found by a private investigator, but
instead contacted Lotto NZ direct to claim their prize.