September 24 2017, updated 4:47pm

Backpacker scoops $1m Lotto prize

Last updated 13:41 26/02/2008

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A backpacker is ditching plans to go fruitpicking in New Zealand after buying a million-dollar Lotto ticket on only his second day in the country.

The lucky tourist, who wished only to reveal that he was 'Australasian', claimed his $1 million first division prize from the NZ Lotteries' office in Wellington today.

The ticket was bought on the spur of the moment when the backpacker was in Countdown Northlands Lotto Kiosk in Christchurch with two fellow travellers. Later that evening he realised he had the winning ticket after checking the Lotto draw.

"My heart started racing and I had to get my friends to double check the numbers," he said, "it's just a dream come true."

"The first thing I did was to ring my mum and share the good news with my family."

The surprise windfall has meant that the backpacker no longer has to resort to picking fruit to fund his travel plans.

"We had planned to travel around New Zealand for a few months and I was going to go fruit picking to earn some money along the way.  However, we will now be able to travel in a bit more style.

"I still want to continue my holiday, however I am now thinking about some business or study possibilities that this win will make possible," the winner said.

NZ Lotteries spokewoman Karen Jones said the backpacker was planning to leave Wellington today.

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