No work this week for $26m Lotto winner
PALOMA MIGONE, PAUL EASTON AND ANGELA CUMING
If you became a Lotto millionaire would you tell the world?
The $26.5 million Lotto Powerball winner who vowed to keep working didn't show up for his 5am shift today - and plans to take the week off.
The 34-year-old man from Te Kauwhata, only known as Trevor, works as a Countdown checkout operator in Huntly.
The Countdown manager this morning said he didn't make it to work this morning and she had "no idea" why. He had not quit his job.
Trevor, who went public yesterday, had said nothing was going to change following his big win.
"At the end of the day, my bank balance is a phone number, but I love my job."
"I'm going to keep working in the meantime. But I said to my mum, 'You never have to work again.'"
A NZ Lotteries spokeswoman said Trevor was just overwhelmed after having a "big day" yesterday.
"Everything has been a little chaotic. He is going to take a break off work at the moment."
But Trevor had no plans to quit his job anytime soon, she said.
"He just needs to be left alone for a bit."
Last night, he told John Campbell he could bet his winnings he would be at work.
"Mate, I could bet you $26.5 million I'll be at that check out tomorrow morning. The company I work for is just one big family, we all look after each other. I couldn't ask for a better place to work."
Trevor realised he had won when his flatmate urged him to check his ticket on Sunday morning.
"When I saw they all lined up, I started to squeal like a girl a little bit. My legs were giving way on me, I collapsed to the ground in hysterics."
Trevor quickly shared the news with his parents in Auckland.
His mother was having trouble believing he'd won. "I said I'll come and show you if you lend me $50 for petrol," he told her.
He flew to Wellington with his parents to claim his prize yesterday, but there was no dinner at a fancy restaurant as he had to get home on time for work.
Until now, he had lived "week to week, like 90 per cent of people. If something comes along that I haven't budgeted for, then I can't physically do it".
His first spending plans are likely to include a trip to the speedway track for his entire extended family. "But at the end of the day that's only a couple of coins out of the kitty.
"We'll take some time, I'll get my head around things. I'll come back with my feet planted firmly on the ground.
"My family has always been there for me. My mum, my dad, my sister, my brother-in-law, my niece, my nephew. Now it's time to repay them for the times they have been there for me."
Born and raised in West Auckland, Trevor was a truck driver before an injury saw him move into supermarkets, where he is a trainee manager.
He plans to take a holiday to clear his head, and hinted some new cars might join the 1989 Chevy Blazer and a 1989 Silverado already in his garage.
He is already being described as New Zealand's most eligible bachelor, a title he found "intimidating". He was in no hurry to meet someone. "I want to find someone for the right reasons. I'm the same person I was yesterday and the day before that."
He intends to keep buying his weekly Powerball ticket "without fail" from the Four Square supermarket in Te Kauwhata. "The owners, the Patels, have always treated us very, very well."
While he did not want his surname made public, he admitted it would be hard to keep his windfall a secret around the town. "I pretty much think everyone is going to know who I am."