Lotto millionaire to race in Nelson

MICHELLE SUTTON
Last updated 13:00 14/07/2012
Trev

TREVOR'S TOYS: One of Trevor Cooper's four cars, which he now owns after an off-road shopping spree with his Lotto winnings. It's a class 1 open car, from the United States, the same model which he planned to race in Nelson - his first off-road race in New Zealand.

Trev from Te Kauwhata
LOTTO WINNER: Trev from Te Kauwhata

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Lotto multimillionaire Trevor Cooper hopes his winning streak continues when he's playing the field and the off-road track.

The 34-year-old, who won $26 million in Lotto's biggest prize draw for years, is racing in Nelson on July 21-22 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 and is open to meeting someone while in Nelson.

Mr Cooper has already enjoyed extra female attention since making the headlines with his Lotto win in April, but should any long-term relationship develop it would be for love not money.

"I'm still me. I'm just going with it."

His family 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 – off-roading.

"I'm looking at taking the title out." he said about the two-day endurance races near Dovedale next Saturday.

He told the Nelson Mail he was planning to ride an open class, off-road buggy that he bought in the North Island with his winnings. It's estimated value was about $70,000, but Mr 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 were modify one of his buggy for the past two weeks.

They had stripped it back to the frame and practically rebuilt it.

Off-roading between New Zealand and America 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 Mr 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 into two 250-kilometre races, with both days held in the Hancock Forest block in Dovedale, Mr 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."

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- The Nelson Mail

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