Porirua man will split $15m Lotto win with his mate to honour a long-standing pact
Porirua's new Lotto multi-millionaire will split his $15 million winnings with his best friend after they made a pact years ago they would share a win.
"I'm going to tell my mate that $7.5m is his. But I'm keeping that extra $250,000 – I think that's fair," the winner said.
"I can't wait to tell him – we want to share the joy with this win and we know that this will absolutely make his family's Christmas, as well as ours."
The man flew up to Lotto's head office in Auckland on Thursday morning to present his winning ticket, which he bought from Eastside Four Square & Lotto in Porirua East.
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As well as winning the first ever Wednesday Powerball jackpot, pocketing $15m, he also won another $250,000 from Lotto First Division.
"I'm going to have a great Christmas celebration with the family. This is going to be a great surprise for everyone – it's be the best Secret Santa ever," said the man, who declined to give details about himself.
He said he would "definitely keep working" and planned to share the money with friends and family "and finally buy the car of my dreams that I've been thinking about for the past 20 years".
The huge windfall felt "weird, really weird", he said.
"A win of this size is life changing for anyone. It just gives us so much opportunity.
"It still hasn't sunk in.
"I actually won a couple hundred dollars a few weeks ago, so I wasn't expecting to win anything again for a while. I got a real surprise."
He always picked the same Lotto numbers so when he checked the draw on his computer on Wednesday night, he immediately knew he had won something when he recognised his numbers.
"We were sitting on the couch, when he started making funny noises and I thought something was wrong," the winner's daughter said.
"Then he told me to get his wallet and we checked his Lotto ticket together. We all just looked at each other and then started screaming and jumping and hugging each other – a bit of a winning dance. We were so excited."
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The Lotto shop's owner, Dipak Dubariya, had been confident the winner would turn out to be a local because all his customers were from the Porirua East area.
"People are smiling and talking about the win," he said on Thursday morning.
READ MORE: Porirua Lotto player wins $15 million
"Porirua is not known for being a wealthy area and this will make the winner's life."
Dubariya, who bought the store nine months ago, said he was delighted to have sold the winning ticket.
"It's the first big win I've sold and it feels great. I am going to put a big sign outside and hopefully will get to make more people's lives better."
Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said locals started texting him soon after Wednesday evening's draw about the exciting win.
He did not know who had won, but was keen to find out.
"I'm really hoping it's someone who deserves to win and hopefully they will have a great Christmas."
While Porirua East was a mixed area socio-economically, he said it was very wealthy in terms of community heart.
Only two months ago, a Porirua woman, who remained anonymous, claimed $1m with a Lotto First Division ticket.
She only discovered her win when she had her lucky ticket checked at her local store, the Waitangirua Four Square, not far from where Wednesday's $15m was won.
At the time, she said she planned to celebrate by taking her family to Australia for Christmas.
Porirua East city councillor Izzy Ford knew the million-dollar winning family, and said they had been very deserving winners.
"They are a family who gives a lot to the community."
FAMILY FIRST FOR WOULD BE WINNERS
While they may not have bought the winning Lotto ticket, Porirua locals had plenty of ideas about how to spend the winnings.
"I'd get my whole family together. Have a mighty celebration and then decide what else to do with it." - Eunice Christensen
"I'd be giving a lot to my family of course and helping so many other people. And charities out there. I support UNICEF and Wellington Free Ambulance and things like that." - Jill Mansfield
"I'd look after all the family. I don't know what i'd do with the rest. Maybe buy a nice car." - Shea Thomson
"I would put some in early childhood education and also purchase my family a home." - Jo Kisona
PORIRUA BUSINESSES EXCITED
Geoff van Veen from Partner Outdoors a few doors down from the Four Square said the winner would probably be buying a big house, new car and maybe a boat.
"We have plenty of fishing gear if they are fishermen," he said.
Johnston Ebbett Holden sales consultant Greg Sandbrook said if the winner was from Porirua that would be fantastic.
The winner was "most welcome" to come down to the yard and shop for a Christmas present.
"They will get well looked after," he said.
The most expensive car in the Holden catalogue, a HSV VF GTS, would only soak up about one per cent of the winnings at $125,000.
"It's awesome for the winner and for Porirua. It must a surreal feeling. I'm just a bit gutted it wasn't me," Sandbrook said.
Porirua City councillor and real estate agent Euon Murrell said it was delightful to hear a person from Porirua had won big.
The lifestyle, community spirit and people in Porirua were all draw cards, Murrell said.
There were also plenty of beautiful houses to consider in the area if that was what the winner wanted.
"Properties go from a few hundred thousand to several millions. Their dream home is here if they want it."
Lotto winnings are tax free. But as soon as the winnings are put it in an interest bearing bank account, tax is due on the interest.
Just leaving the $15m in a bank account could provide a yearly income far more than most Kiwis earn from a year of hard work.
At the end of one year, in a fixed term deposit bank account at 3.5 per cent interest, the earnings would be $525,000.
After two years the winner would would be a millionaire all over again just on the interest.
Kiwibank spokesman Bruce Thompson said the best advice for the winner was not to rush into anything.
They needed to consider what they wanted to do with their lives and who they wanted to share the winnings with, he said.
When they had an idea of these things they should consult a financial advisor to make sure their capital increases over time.
TOP 5 LOTTO NZ PRIZES
* $36.8 million - Masterton, June 2009
* $33 million - Auckland, September 2013
* $28.7 million - Auckland, October 2010
* $27 million - Tauranga, September 2013
* $26.5 million - Te Kauwhata, March 2012
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