Lotto millionaire to race at Rotoiti
Lotto multimillionaire Trevor Cooper hopes his winning streak continues when he's playing the field – on and off the speedway track.
The 34-year-old, who won $26 million in Lotto's biggest prize draw for years, is racing in Nelson next weekend when the 2012 New Zealand Endurance Championship is fought out, with the off-road NZ title up for grabs.
He has also been dubbed one of the country's most eligible bachelors, but the single bloke is keeping matters of the heart close to his chest other than to say he's flattered by 99 per cent of the female attention he's received.
He says his family have helped keep his feet on the ground and ensured the money didn't change him.
However, it had allowed him to pursue his other great love – speedway.
Of the two-day endurance race at Lake Rotoiti next Saturday, he said: "I'm looking at taking the title out."
He would race his unlimited class one buggy for the first time in Nelson after buying it in the North Island with his winnings.
It is worth about $70,000, but Cooper declined to say how much it cost him.
"I don't want to say. It is not about the money for me with racing," he said.
Racing was a passion he could now enjoy like never before.
He and two mechanics had worked fulltime to modify the buggy for the past two weeks.
They had stripped it back to the frame and practically rebuilt it.
Speedway had taken up most of his free time since quitting his former assistant manager's job at Huntly's Countdown supermarket.
Nelson's Darrin Thomason, organiser of next weekend's race, said the amount of time and money Cooper spent was not unheard of among speedway enthusiasts.
He knew of a competitor who had spent $180,000 on a vehicle.
So far about 20 competitors were entered in the 500km race, with both days held at the Lake Rotoiti track, Thomason said.
"It's going to be a chance for the North Island to go head to head with the best of the South Islanders... I can't possibly say who will take this out, but the northern guys will have to bring their best game to stay in the hunt."
The Nelson Mail