A Wellington man carried around a million-dollar Lotto ticket in his wallet for two months before discovering he had won the jackpot.
He discovered his fortune while buying a new ticket on Saturday night, and found half a dozen old tickets stashed away in his wallet.
Staff at Island Bay video shop told him his Triple Dip from the April 5 draw was worth $1 million.''Pretty happy is an understatement,'' said the man, who wanted to remain anonymous.
''I was just stunned. I didn't believe it at first."
His bank was also in disbelief when the money was deposited today, and called the man to make enquiries.
''They said, 'there's been a rather large sum deposited into your account overnight. Do you know anything about it?' I said 'yes, I've just won Lotto'. That got them pretty excited,'' he said.
'Usually it's in the negative, overdrawn.''
The most the man had won in 27 years as a regular Lotto player was $95, he said.
He bought randomly generated numbers, usually a Triple Dip or Powerball. His winning ticket was from Paper Plus in Lambton Square.
The winner planned to pay off his mortgage, then help out two brothers in financial strife. One had a failed business and owed money, and one had refused to return from Australia for seven years because his student loan was so large.
That brother had even missed their mother's funeral last year, and the winner was determined he would return home before their 83-year-old father died.
There should be plenty of money left over for a dream holiday, but the man's 20-year-old daughter had a shopping spree in mind, he said.
''She's turning 21 soon and is keen to upgrade to a new iPhone. She also thinks we need a new car.''
Kiwibank spokesman Bruce Thompson said the winner had lost more than $5000 in interest during the two months he failed to check his ticket.
He advised the winner to lock the money away for a couple of months and think carefully about how to spend it.
''Everybody will be able to tell you how to spend the money, and most of the advice will involve giving it to them,'' Thompson said.
''If you spend hastily, you might regret it.The worst thing you can do is go on a spending spree right after you get the money.''
This weekend's Powerball jackpot is worth $23m and the Lotto First Division jackpot $2m.
- The Dominion Post