25 years of hoping
Lotto marking quarter century birthdayKIMBERLEY CRAYTON-BROWN
Winton's Ann Gopi has had a Saturday night ritual for the past 25 years.
Lotto is celebrating its 25th birthday draw on August 25 and ever since the first Lotto draw on August 1, 1987, Mrs Gopi has sat down in front of the TV with her pen and paper, written down the six randomly drawn numbers, and hoped enough of them appeared on her ticket to win the big prize.
She had even interrupted Coronation Street a few times recently to watch the draw live.
Before Lotto was introduced to New Zealanders 25 years ago, the Golden Kiwi tickets were popular, Mrs Gopi said. Lottery tickets were often given as gifts and included in birthday cards, she said.
When Lotto began people thought it was ‘‘just wonderful’’.
‘‘You bought your Lotto ticket every week and hoped that week you would have a win,’’ Mrs Gopi said.
During the past 25 years her main prizes have been two $600 wins.
She had bought a ticket for every Lotto draw during the past 25 years.
‘‘Just the hope that you could win something … it’s always nice to win a prize, isn’t it?’’
During the early days of Lotto, Mrs Gopi worked at Trust Bank, in Invercargill, and buying a ticket in the Trust Bank Arcade after work became a Friday night routine.
Mrs Gopi still has the first ticket she bought for Lotto's debut, which cost $5 and put her in the running to win a First Division prize of $359,808.
While Lotto is a weekly routine for some, the organisation has also given back to the community.
‘‘What they have done for communities, with the money going back, that is really great. It isn’t just them profiting, they put such a lot back in to the community.’’
DID YOU KNOW
● The first Lotto draw was held on August 1, 1987
● It was hosted by Doug Harvey and Ann Wilson
● The first individual $1 million prize was won in Draw 8, September 19, 1987, with a ticket sold in Hamilton
● Lotto Strike was introduced in 1993, Powerball in 2001, the Winning Wheel in 2004, and Big Wednesday
● Since 1987 Lotto has paid more than $4.5 billion in prizes to more than 75 million winners
● The largest combined Lotto and Powerball prize won by a single ticket was worth $28.7 million, and was won by a Papakura pig farmer in 2010 Source: NZ Lotteries
Have you got a Lotto story to share? Leave a comment here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- © Fairfax NZ News
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