'Westie' claims $33m Lotto prize

Last updated 10:50 01/10/2013

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The largest ever individual Powerball prize of $33 million has been snapped up by none other than an Auckland "westie".

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he was driving to work and heard on the radio that the prize was still unclaimed, and realised he had bought a ticket from the shop that sold the winning one.

"When I heard it was still unclaimed, I thought, 'you know, it could be me'. But I still went straight to the gym before checking my tickets," the latest Powerball winner, hailing from west Auckland, said.

"I thought, 'well if I've just won $33 million I might not be able to concentrate on getting my exercise done afterwards', I guess I didn't really think it would be me."

It's the largest ever Powerball prize and second largest Lotto individual prize to have been won in New Zealand.

The largest ever individual prize was a Big Wednesday First Division prize worth $36.9 million, won by a family from Masterton in 2009.

The latest winner got his lucky ticket from One Step Ahead in Ponsonby.

The Lotto Powerball number which secured the win was the lucky number of the winner's wife.
 
"I have my wife to thank - four is her lucky number, which is why I chose it as the Powerball number on this ticket."
 
While One Step Ahead in Ponsonby has been buzzing over the last couple of days with the news that the big winner was sold there, the man with the winning ticket is still coming to terms with his luck.
 
"I went into One Step Ahead during the week and was joking with the guy behind the counter about the $22 million Big Wednesday prize and how good it would be to win even a share of that. He wished me good luck, and then I was on my way."

While trying to remain calm, the man said he was actually "stressed on the inside" as he pondered what to do with his win.

Treating friends and family is top of the list. "And maybe my wife would like a new car?

"We've only ever bought second hand cars before. I can't get my head around the fact that we can afford a new car now. I think it will take a while for it to seem real that I've actually won this money."

In a Powerball Must Be Won draw, if there are no First Division winners, the prize pool rolls down to the next division where there are winners. In this case the prize rolled down to Powerball Second Division, where there was one winner.

Last week a ticket sold in Christchurch won $22.6 million with Big Wednesday. The winner of that prize is yet to come forward.

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