A couple from Dunedin on the south island of New Zealand have won $1 million on the New Zealand Lotto, and they hid the ticket in an empty cake for weeks before claiming their prize.
The couple, who chose to remain anonymous when they finally claimed their New Zealand Lotto prize this week, told lottery officials that they purchased their ticket on a whim after they did some shopping at the supermarket on their lunch break, not one of the stores which are claiming to be New Zealand’s luckiest lottery seller. “As I waited at the counter, a couple of other people queued up who looked like they were in a hurry, so I let them jump ahead of me. Looking back now, it certainly feels like that good deed paid off!” said one of the winners, whose story is lucky, unlike that of Mindy Crandell, who in 2013 had a woman step in front of her in the queue for Powerball tickets, and that woman turned out to be the winner of the $591 million US Powerball jackpot.
As they went home with the lottery ticket, they put it away and completely forgot all about it until the weekend, just like a recent winner from Hamilton who left his winning lottery ticket in his wallet for a few days before remembering to check it. It wasn’t until the weekend when she remembered that they had a ticket, and so she took it out and started checking the numbers against those that were drawn in the New Zealand Lotto.
“I was circling the numbers on our ticket and all of a sudden they started lining up,” she said, as her partner told of the moment he realised that his partner was discovering their New Zealand Lotto win. “When I heard her saying ‘oh my god, oh my god…’ I thought I’d better go over and see what was going on,” he told Lotto New Zealand officials.
The couple checked the rest of the New Zealand Lotto numbers together, and said that they were so stunned that they sat staring at each other for several minutes, before they hid the ticket in a cake tin and put it away in the cupboard, unlike another recent New Zealand Lotto winner, who felt “frickin amazing” after discovering their win. “We checked that the ticket was still there a couple of times every day – we were half thinking we’d open the tin one day to realise it was all a dream,” the winner told lottery officials.
A few days later, however, after they had recovered themselves, the couple took their New Zealand Lotto ticket to a nearby dairy store to have it checked officially, and two weeks after that, they took their ticket out of the cake tin again and travelled to the New Zealand Lotto head office in Auckland to claim their prize. “We’re still not sure what we’re going to do with it though – I don’t know if we’ll ever get used to being millionaires!”
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