Lotto winner donates to quake charities

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 11:27 11/03/2014

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A Christchurch man will donate a portion of his $5 million Lotto winnings to groups that helped him during the earthquakes.

The winning ticket was bought from Redwood Mini Market for the draw on March 1, but was not claimed for more than a week.

The winner, who wants to remain anonymous, read about the unclaimed prize in the paper.

 "I thought to myself 'yeah, it would be good to win Lotto', but of course, I didn't really think it was me."

Oblivious to his own good fortune, the winner carried on with his regular routine carrying the ticket worth $5 million around in his wallet.

"Eventually I popped into the store and thought, 'I really should check my ticket'. And sure enough, the machine flashed 'major prize winner'.

He said it was an "incredible feeling" to think it was all his.

Even though it took a little while for him to collect his prize, the winner had no hesitation in deciding how to spend it. 

"I haven't had a car for years and I've never owned a house - so those are the first two things I'm going to tick off my list." 

"I'd also like to give some money to the Salvation Army and some of the other groups that really helped me out during the earthquake."

 The winner said he has been getting a kick teasing friends with the news of his win.

"I phoned a mate and said 'what's the best news I could have?' and he said 'You won Lotto?' - but then of course he didn't believe me when I said I had!"

The winner described himself as "pretty happy right now". 

The total prize is made up of $4 million from Powerball First Division and $1 million from Lotto First Division.

This is the second major prize to be won in Christchurch in the last six months. In September 2013, a Christchurch resident won a Big Wednesday jackpot of $22.6 million on a ticket bought at Pak N Save Riccarton.

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- The Press

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