Christmas has come early for a Turangi couple who have won $8.6 million in Big Wednesday Lotto prizes.
Lotto said the couple, who wanted to remain anonymous, bought the ticket from a local store in the town southwest of Taupo.
Turangi had been abuzz since learning the winning ticket was sold there.
"I was driving to the store and sort of saying 'please let it be me', but still not really thinking it would be," said the winner.
"When I checked the tickets in-store, one said 'Second Division' and the other said 'First Division'. I just started shaking and could barely breathe."
Turangi Civic Video Manager Bevan Topp said, "We were just chatting about the win and hanging up balloons when this woman comes up with two tickets in her hand and says 'Ummm, I think I've won'."
"We checked the tickets, and the winner let out a big scream. It was really exciting - we were all buzzing for hours afterwards."
The woman had to sit down with a cup of tea to calm her nerves before she was able to get in touch with her partner.
"When I told my partner he was so flustered, he just keep wandering around saying 'oh no, oh no, oh no' - he was excited, but it just couldn't sink in. Now we're both just saying 'oh yes!'" the winner said.
The couple told Lotto they were looking forward to putting some money back into the community.
"We're all like family around here. Walking to the shops can take an hour by the time you stop and say hello to everyone on the way.
"We're just so happy and amazed. Most weeks we talk about what we'd do if we won Lotto - and now we have!"
It is the biggest lottery prize ever won in Turangi.
- Fairfax Media
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