Big Wednesday winner emerges

STACEY KIRK
Last updated 16:41 14/09/2012

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A Tauranga man in his 20s went to get his hair cut, found the hairdresser was shut so used his money to get a Big Wednesday ticket - and won $27 million.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous but describes himself as a "typical Kiwi bloke", travelled to Wellington to claim his prize today.

He was still shaking with the impact of his massive win as he filled in the paperwork at the office.

"I only went to AJ's Lotto to get a haircut, as it has the hairdresser at the back of the shop.  However, the hairdresser was shut at that time, so I thought I would use the haircut money to get a Big Wednesday ticket instead," he said.

"It was a spur-of-the-moment decision and I can't believe it has resulted in me winning so much money.

"It's life changing. It will also enable me to help out my immediate family, who have been so good at supporting me over recent years."

The man also says his winning ticket was at one stage destined for the rubbish bin, NZ Lotteries said.

"I originally checked the results on my phone, but I must have got the wrong draw so I thought my ticket was a loser. I chucked it aside and thought 'that was that' and went to work.

"It was only when there was so much talk in the town about the unclaimed prize that I thought it might pay to recheck the ticket.

"Once I realised I was a winner I felt sick, and I pretty much had a sleepless night last night.  I kept staring at the ticket and wondering if it was real," he said.

The man now plans to take a few days out to let the reality of his win sink in. Then he plans to buy a new car and maybe build his first house.

His $27 million Big Wednesday prize is the third biggest lottery prize in NZ Lotteries' history.

"The previous biggest prizes were the massive $36.8 million Big Wednesday prize won by a family syndicate from Masterton in 2009, and the $28.7 million Lotto Powerball prize that went to a Papakura pig hunter in October 2010," Lotteries chief executive Wayne Pickup said.

This prize packages is worth $27,004,410. It comprises $25,592,110 in cash, a Lamborghini Gallardo, a Audi Q7, a Rayglass 2200 boat, a $50,000 Visa Platinum Card and $50,000 worth of travel as well as $675,000 cash towards a bach.

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