$15m Lotto win funds dream to be missionaries in Africa

PAUL EASTON
Last updated 05:00 04/01/2013

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A "struggling" young Hastings couple who won $15 million in Lotto are planning to use the win to do missionary work in Africa.

"We always said if we had a windfall we'd like to do some missionary work, in particular in Africa," the couple, who have chosen to remain anonymous, said yesterday.

"We want to help with water pumps and whatever else is necessary."

The couple, who are engaged, drove down with their children to Wellington yesterday to claim their Big Wednesday winnings.

The $15m jackpot included several luxury prizes including Lamborghini and Audi cars, a boat, more than $600,000 cash toward a new bach, and $100,000 worth of travel and spend- ing money on a credit card.

"They were over the moon," a Lotto spokeswoman said. "This is not a family with a lot of money at all. They've been struggling for a while by all accounts."

The couple were planning to visit family and friends on their way back up to Hastings yesterday.

The winning ticket was sold at the Caltex station on Karamu Rd in Hastings.

Manager Mitesh Chaudhari said since news of the big prize had got out, huge numbers of people had come in to the petrol station to check their ticket.

"It's really good news for us and for [our] customers - it's unbelievable," he said.

"It's been a long time since we've had a winning ticket here in Hastings. It seems like everything is always won in Auckland or somewhere else."

Big Wednesday had not been struck since a Tauranga man took home $27m in September, making this week's win the third-biggest Big Wednesday win ever.

The biggest was a massive $36.8m Big Wednesday prize won by a Masterton family syndicate in 2009.

A Papakura pig hunter won a $28.7m Lotto Powerball prize in October 2010, and 34-year-old "Trev" of Te Kauwhata took home $26m in April last year.

Contact Paul Easton
Hutt Valley reporter
Email: paul.easton@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @pwe74

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- The Dominion Post

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