Winning a quarter of a million dollars will give a Hawera pensioner the gift of retirement.
The South Taranaki man, who did not want to be identified and did not want to give his age, won $250,000 at the weekend on an Instant Kiwi scratchie.
"I just can't believe it. It's still sinking in," he said.
"I'll be able to pay off my mortgage. It's going to be a very merry Christmas."
The influx of cash meant the man could finally retire.
"At my age I should be retired but I had to keep working because I had a mortgage to pay off.
"This means I'll probably be able to retire in peace, finally," he said.
He described the win as "life changing" and said it also meant he could upgrade his car.
"We are still in shock but we've probably spent the money 10 times over in the last hour, in our heads of course."
The ticket was a $10 20x Money Multiplier and was sold at Loveridge's Lotto on High St in Hawera.
The man had bought the ticket on December 14 and only took it in to be checked over the weekend.
"I'd had it for a week and hadn't scratched it. I had all of this money and didn't even know," he said.
The prizemoney will take five working days to clear in his bank account and he was expecting to see the $250,000 early next year.
"That will give us time to process this."
The man had bought a Lotto ticket and an Instant Kiwi every week for the last 14 years and had only ever won about $600.
The Lotto shop owner, Colin Loveridge, has run the shop for 25 years and said it was the biggest Instant Kiwi win he had sold.
"We were really shocked when we put it through the machine. He had no idea he had won because he hadn't actually scratched it," he said.
"He bought it a week ago and just scratched the barcode off when he got to the shop today, so he could check it in the machine.
"It's a nice Christmas gift."
The 20x Multiplier Instant Kiwi ticket was one of 621,000 tickets in the game and the Hawera man won the second top prize of $250,000. Just one $250,000 prize remains.
- © Fairfax NZ News
How much would you pay for a seat on the coastal walkway?