It took seven months for an Auckland man to check his Lotto tickets - and become an instant millionaire.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, has a habit of emptying his pockets and tossing any tickets or receipts in the drawer of a coffee table.
At the end of the financial year, he dived back into his receipts, and found he had several old Lotto tickets.
"I thought I may as well check them online ... just in case," he said.
"So I went through each one, until I got to the one from March this year. As I started going through the numbers, it looked like I had all of them.
"Even though I checked the numbers about 10 times, I still thought I must've done something wrong."
So he popped the ticket in is wallet, thinking that after seventh months another day couldn't hurt.
"I figured, if I hadn't lost the ticket in seven months, I probably wouldn't lose it overnight."
He didn't share the news of his win with friends and family, as he wanted to make sure that he had actually won.
"Just because it was such an old ticket. It looked like I had all the numbers, but I just wasn't 100 per cent sure."
With a million dollars in his bank account, he's more certain now.
He didn't think life would have been much different, had he claimed the spoils seven months ago.
"I love my job and I'll still keep working ... but I might have had a few more sleep-ins over the past seven months, if I'd known," he laughed.
He is thrilled he'll now be able to follow his dream of buying a house - without a mortgage.
Customers have 12 months from the date of the draw to claim their prizes.
The winning ticket was bought at Shortland Superette in central Auckland for the March 9 draw.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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