The gangster, the Lotto winner and the $50k demand

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 13 March 2018, 8:10PM
The winner bought his ticket from the Te Kuiti Paper Plus last month and took home a whopping $7.3 million. (Photo / Michael Bradley)
The winner bought his ticket from the Te Kuiti Paper Plus last month and took home a whopping $7.3 million. (Photo / Michael Bradley)

A gang member allegedly demanded tens of thousands of dollars in "protection money" from a multimillion dollar Lotto winner, the Herald has been told.

However the new millionaire is playing down the incident, saying it was just a prank involving a mate.

Rumours have been swirling around the King Country, with tales of standover tactics and demands for up to $50,000 in "protection money".

The winner bought his ticket from the Te Kuiti Paper Plus last month and took home a whopping $7.3 million.

It sent not only Te Kuiti but the surrounding towns into a buzz.

Lotto released an official statement from the man at the time, saying he had no idea he'd won and had simply screwed up his ticket and left it in the glovebox of his car.

"But I honestly never thought it would be me. I remember thinking, 'I wonder who that lucky person is'," he laughed.

He then checked it at his local supermarket, triggering all the bells and whistles from the machine.

Word quickly spread of who the winner was. Then the rumour mill began.

Some say he's had to quit his job, others said he was confronted by a Mongrel Mob gang member and asked to pay him up to $50,000 in "protection money".

More rumours emerged of him being one of the luckiest men around because just prior to taking home Powerball he won a car in a local raffle.

But what of those rumours were actually true?

The Herald tracked down the man at his humble home.

Unsurprisingly, he didn't want to talk too much to the media.

However, he did clarify a few of the rumours.

While he confirmed the demand for cash did happen, it was just a prank by a work mate, he told the Herald.

"Nah, didn't bother me too much."

It's also true he boasts a lot of good luck.

He did win a raffle which landed him a new vehicle. He then upgraded twice, before taking out the $7.3 million, and bought himself another one.

The Herald understands the winner has sought financial advice for the remainder of his winnings and one of his bigger purchases - a new house for family.

Lotto NZ spokeswoman Emilia Mazur said understandably, Lotto winners were protective of their privacy and most wished to remain anonymous.

"Lotto NZ is very careful to work with Lotto winners to protect their anonymity, which means we will never publish any identifying features – such as name, age, job, address."

The organisation provided a book of advice for winners about how to deal with their winnings.

Lotto encouraged people to think carefully about who they told.

Most told their immediate families, while some told work mates. Some were happy to tell the media about their good fortune.

"You don't have to tell anyone if you don't want to – the choice is entirely yours. Remember that the more people you do tell, including your family, the greater the chances of others finding out about your win."

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