A PAPAKURA father claimed the biggest Lotto Powerball prize yesterday after leaving home at midnight and driving down to Wellington.
The man, who wants to remain anonymous, picked up a massive $28.7 million.
He bought the winning ticket at Mobil Papakura on Great South Rd.
It's worth a total of $28,710,403 – $28,309,882 from Powerball first division and $400,521 from Lotto first division.
"I don't like flying and I had a lot to think about so the drive was a good way to clear my head," the man says.
"I had only been to Wellington once before and I went the wrong way down a one-way street – so I vowed I wouldn't be back again.
"However, I made an exception to come down and get my millions."
The man initially checked his ticket on Saturday night but he did not read the numbers very closely and didn't think he'd won anything.
"I chucked the ticket on the floor and it wasn't until I heard on Monday morning that the Papakura prize hadn't been claimed that I thought to take another look at it.
"I showed it to my daughter and we checked the numbers online.
"We both went crazy when we realised I had won the big one. She started crying and I started shaking.
"I couldn't even write my name on the back of the ticket because my hand was shaking so much."
The winner did not tell his wife about their big win immediately – she was at work on Monday and he did not want to distract her.
"So I picked her up after work and asked her to shake my hand in order to meet New Zealand's latest millionaire! She started crying as well and kept asking me `is it true'?"
The man says the win is almost too much to take in.
"We have been down to our last dollar a couple of times this year so winning this much money is amazing."
The family plans to sit down and discuss what to do with the prizemoney.
But the winner does have one thing planned already.
"I am a keen pig hunter and like to get out on the weekends plus I love diving and fishing.
"I have been too busy lately to get out much on the water so I hope to have a bit more time now for my hobbies," he says.
The man says he plays Lotto only when he feels lucky and bought his ticket on impulse when he stopped for petrol at Mobil Papakura and saw a woman in front of him buy a ticket.
His win eclipses the previous biggest Lotto Powerball prize of $22.4 million which was won in October 2009 by a player from Manukau.
- Papakura Courier
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