Hokitika couple 'stunned' at $15m win

DEIDRE MUSSEN
Last updated 18:55 29/01/2013

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A $15.7 million lotto win is literally a dream come true for a lucky Hokitika couple.

"I actually had a dream about three weeks ago that we won. And now that we have won - I still feel like I'm dreaming!" said one of the winners, who wished to remain anonymous.

"We've been talking a bit lately about what we'd do if we won Lotto - just like everybody does,'' the couple said in a statement today.

With the money only just pocketed, the couple are have started contemplating how to spend it.

A holiday is on the cards and ‘‘a couple toys to enjoy ourselves’’, however they intend to keep working and living the same lifestyle they currently enjoy with no plans to retire.

"We want to help our immediate family, of course, but in the long-term, we'd like to establish a trust to support members of the community that need a little assistance to improve their quality of life.

"We feel very blessed - this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a positive impact on people's lives."

The couple normally bought their tickets via NZ Lotteries' online gaming channel and won $23 a week ago, which was used to buy last Saturday night's winning ticket.

''So it was sort of free - how's that for a return on our investment.''

They have stuck to the same six numbers for three years, a combination of birthdays, ages and favourite numbers, missing only two draws in that time.

Their strategy to play the numbers across 10 lines with each of the Powerball numbers paid off, netting them $769,000 for the first division tickets and $15 million for Powerball.

A Nelson couple used the same method to win $8.1 million in December 2011.

"Once we'd decided on our numbers, we didn't want to take the risk of missing out on the big prize if our numbers ever came up,'' the couple said.

They said it was an ''amazing moment'' when they checked their ticket online on Saturday night and have barely slept since, too stunned to celebrate and struggling to comprehend the enormity of their win.

While they hope to keep the win secret, the gossip mill is on overdrive as people ponder their identity in the West Coast township, which has a population of about 3100.

Social media websites have been fuelling speculation but a few people named have vehemently denied they are the winners.

''Every second person is looking at each other and wondering if it is them or their neighbours,'' said Robyn Lee, joint owner/operator of the New World supermarket.
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This month has been particularly lucky for Hokitika with a first division Lotto ticket worth $500,000 and second division ticket worth $11,269 also bought at the supermarket.

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- The Press

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