Spare $20 made lucky man $20m

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 05:00 29/11/2012

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The lucky $20.5 million Lotto Powerball winner bought his ticket in Invercargill while at the Burt Munro Challenge and will spend some of his winnings on vintage motorcycles.

New Zealand Lotteries spokeswoman Karen Jones said the South Island family man wanted to remain anonymous.

The man, who travelled to Wellington alone to collect his winnings, had a cup of tea to celebrate, she said.

"I offered him Champagne but he said it was too early in the morning."

She said the winner was definitely still in shock and the impact of his win had not hit him yet.

The man had children, so the money would be well spent, Mrs Jones said.

"He kept saying over and over again, it didn't feel real."

The man had bought his ticket on a whim while he was in Invercargill to take part in the Burt Munro Challenge.

"I guess all those rumours in Invercargill turned out true. He was at Burt Munro," she said.

The man said it was a spur of the moment decision to buy a Lotto ticket because he did not normally play every week.

"I had a spare $20 in my wallet so thought I would give it a go," he said.

He had heard about the big Invercargill win on the Sunday and realised he had bought a ticket from the Windsor Stationery and Lotto store.

He deliberately delayed checking his ticket because he wanted the magic of thinking he could be a millionaire to last a bit longer.

He had kept his $20.5 million ticket in his wallet, hidden in his sock drawer.

He was not able to sleep because he kept getting up during the night to check that his ticket was still there.

"It still feels a bit unreal really.

I didn't think that I could be the winner, so I was completely stunned when I did look online and saw that I had right numbers."

The man rang his partner to share the good news but she did not believe him because he played the odd joke on her, so she thought he was kidding.

The man had contacted his bank and was blown away by how much interest he would earn on his win.

"It's enough for me and my partner to think about stopping work. Plus I can now really indulge my liking for vintage motorcycles".

He would also like to plan some overseas travel - "in style".

The man's winning ticket was sold at Windsor Stationery & Lotto. The Invercargill store has sold several winning tickets, including two Strike Four prizes, six Lotto first division prizes and one instant millionaire prize, as well as two Winning Wheel spinners.

Owner Betty Sinclair said she hoped in time the man might come back to say hello.

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