A Tauranga couple has ten million reasons to celebrate after winning $10.3 million with Powerball First Division on Saturday.
The couple are regular Lotto players who have been playing the same numbers for a while now and one of them has a well-established routine for checking their tickets.
"I always check the ticket on a Sunday morning – never on the night of the draw. I love holding onto the suspense a bit longer, and going to bed imaging that I could have a big winning ticket waiting for me in the morning," said the man.
Fortunately for him, the family knows not to mention anything about whether the jackpot was struck until he's had the chance to check his ticket.
"I was reading the news online on Saturday night when I saw a Bay of Plenty MyLotto player had won Powerball First Division," said the man's wife.
"I thought, 'That's pretty close to home', but didn't think too much about it to be honest. I know how much he enjoys checking his tickets the next day, so just kept the news to myself."
On Sunday morning, the man sat down to check his ticket on the Lotto NZ App as he usually does – completely unaware of just how much their life was about to change.
"I saw the numbers circling off on my ticket straight away – there was no missing it. When the fourth number was circled, that's when the yelling started! But when I saw all six winning numbers and the Powerball number circled on one line, I went off like a rocket," said the man.
"My wife and I stood there staring at the phone – there was a lot of yelling and crying, as well of plenty of shaking and laughing. We were absolutely blown away – it was just unbelievable."
With the prize safely claimed and news of the win beginning to sink in, the couple got on with their day as usual.
"We tried to keep our day as normal as possible while we let the news sink in – but all day we just kept looking at each other and laughing," said the man.
"We did take some time to celebrate though and headed for a nice lunch complete with a bottle of bubbles. It was a Sunday we'll never forget, that's for sure!"
With the reality of their win beginning to sink in, the lucky couple are looking forward to making the most of their winnings.
"We're going to take things one step at a time and make sure both ourselves and the family are well set-up for the future. There will definitely be plenty of holidays ahead for us, once we can travel again though!
"The thing we are most excited about is being able to help out our family and friends – some of them have done it tough through COVID-19, so we're really looking forward to being able to throw a bit of joy their way too," said the man.
The winning ticket was sold on MyLotto for the draw on Saturday 20 November 2021.
The prize is made up of $10 million from Powerball First Division and $333,333 from Lotto First Division.