It was a sleepless night for a Wellington couple after finding out they had won $16 million with Powerball First Division.
Last Wednesday the couple won the big prize in the Powerball first division and now, a week on, they have spoken publicly – albeit anonymously and via Lotto’s communications team. The husband said he only occasionally bought a Lotto ticket.
Earlier that evening, the man bought a ticket on MyLotto after seeing the jackpot was a huge $16 million.
“I usually buy a ticket when the jackpot is high – probably over $10 million – and even then, it’s only when I remember to get one,” he said. “I normally don’t check it for days afterwards either, so I don’t know what made me log in after the draw.”
As he logged in, he saw a message saying he was a winner.
“I honestly thought it was a glitch – never in a million years did I think we’d win.”
He said it wasn’t until they saw in the news the jackpot had been won in Wellington that it dawned on them that it was real.
After checking their ticket multiple times, screenshotting it, and reading the news over and over, the couple decided to go to bed as they had work in the morning.
The next day, they went to work as usual and welcomed the distraction.
“I was able to compartmentalise and do my job – I don’t know how,” the woman said. “Every time I was alone throughout the day though, my mind wandered back to all those zeroes on the ticket, and I just burst out laughing.”
After finishing work, the man was walking back to his car when his phone rang. When the person said they were from Lotto NZ, my stomach flipped and I thought ‘oh wow, it must be real’ – the confirmation was a weight off my mind for sure.”
The couple took Labour Weekend to let the enormity of their win sink in and celebrated with a low-key family dinner.
“We are going to celebrate properly soon, hopefully we can get away for a couple of days, just us,” said the woman.
With the money safely in their bank account, the couple have lots of plans for the future.
The couple planned to pay off their mortgage, do some renovations, help family and some charities, and take a family holiday.
“This win is life-changing. It gives us the freedom to do those things we maybe couldn’t before. We love travelling, it’s an experience that’s important to us, so that’s definitely on the agenda – starting with a family holiday,” said the woman.
The $16 million Powerball prize is made up of $15 million from Powerball First Division and $1 million from Lotto First Division.
This is the 16th Powerball First Division winner of 2022.
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