Lotto winners' humble celebration

The $8.6 million Big Wednesday prize drawn last week has been claimed by a Kaikoura couple who celebrated with a burger and fries.

While people in the small tourist town were wondering who had taken home the big one, a couple were trying to come to terms with how rich they had just become.

"We checked our ticket on Wednesday night after a friend called and told us that the big one had been won in Kaikoura," one of the winners explained.

"We had all the numbers. We just couldn't believe it, we were yelling and carrying on. We kept checking the ticket over and over again - we thought we must have checked it wrong."

The winners said in a press release today they decided to head out of town to check their ticket.

"We went to the Lotto store, the machine flashed and the staff confirmed we were the lucky winners - then we really couldn't stop shaking.

"We decided to grab a bite to eat and calm our nerves - so we headed straight to McDonald's for a cheeseburger and chips," the winner said.

"We just wanted something simple."

While $8.6m is a life-changing amount of money, the winners are adamant the win won't change them.

"We've always been sensible and that won't change any time soon. But we're excited about the opportunities the prize will bring to us and our children - we'll be able to do things we never thought possible.

"Winning a big prize like this is something you always dream about - we talked about what we'd do if we won every time we bought a ticket. But it was always just a dream - we never thought it would come true."

The winners, who want to remain anonymous, bought their ticket from Kaikoura New World.

Supermarket owner Rodney Flannery said news of the win was fantastic for the town and had come as a real surprise for him and wife Trish.

"It just blew us away a little bit really," he said after being told on Wednesday night that they had sold the winning ticket.

He and Trish had been hosting members of the New World Group for the past few days, and they had all been out for an evening of bowling at the Kaikoura Bowling Club.

"I was told to keep it quiet, but within no time the bell was rung and it was announced. News travels pretty quick with Facebook and Twitter."

Speculation of who the lucky winners were would create quite a buzz around town for some time, he said.

Plenty of people had already asked staff if they knew who it was.

The Marlborough Express