$5.5m Tauranga winner comes forward

The winning ticket.

The butterflies are just starting to subside for a Tauranga local after learning his Lotto ticket has scored him $5.5 million with Powerball First Division. 

The winner, who wishes to remain anonymous, was out doing some errands on Saturday afternoon when he decided to head to Greerton Lotto to buy a Lotto ticket. 

“I wasn’t even in the area, but I know the store well and for some reason I just had a feeling I should buy my ticket there,” says the winner.  

With his ticket tucked away in his wallet, the man carried on with the rest of his day. 

It wasn’t until later that night when the man was watching TV he remembered to check his ticket. 

“I was busy watching a show when I thought, ‘I’d better get the Lotto results’, so I switched over to +1 to catch the Lotto draw.” 

The winner then grabbed an envelope to scribble down the winning numbers. 

“I got out my Lotto ticket and first checked to see if I had the winning Powerball number which is a bit out of character for me. I had two 4s on my ticket and I put a square around each.” 

The winner then proceeded to check off the Lotto numbers as normal. 

“I matched a few numbers here and there, however it wasn’t until I got down to the final line that I noticed that I had a few numbers in a row. 

“One by one I circled them off, my eyes darting back and forth from the envelope to my ticket. When I got to the end I thought, “Crikey, there they all are!” 

Wide-eyed and shaking his head in disbelief, the winner didn’t know what to do next. 

“My mind was racing and I had all this energy — I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I thought, ‘Who should I ring? What should I do now?’ 

“Then I thought ‘No, just settle down, there is nothing you need to do right now just wait until everything is confirmed’.”

Wanting to return to his lucky store and surprise the owner, the winner waited until later in the week to claim his winnings. 

“I hadn’t been nervous up until that point and when I was driving there I had butterflies in my stomach,” says the winner. 

“When I walked in I said to the owner, Belinda, ‘can I see you out the back?’ and she looked at me and said ‘It’s you isn’t it!’ with a big grin on her face — she was just as excited as I was!” 

With the winnings now safely tucked away in his bank, the man is taking time to think about his next move. 

“It’s absolutely overwhelming and I don’t really understand it yet. 

“I feel really fortunate. This win means that I can do things I couldn’t normally even think about.” 

“What I do know is that I want to help loved ones and donate to a few rescue services. I was rescued once — so it’s important to me to give back,” said the winner. 

The $5.5 million winning ticket was sold at Greerton Lotto in Tauranga for the Lotto draw on Saturday 2 December. The prize is made up of $500,000 from Lotto First Division and $5 million from Powerball First Division.

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