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New Zealand friends celebrate sharing $500,000 NZ Lotto win

A group of friends from New Zealand are currently celebrating winning a $500,000 first division prize on the NZ Lotto thanks to a catch up in the pub.

The five friends, who are all from the town of Ashburton, told lottery officials that they made a spur of the moment decision to buy a ticket for the NZ Lotto after they caught up for a few drinks in a pub. The friends, who all decided to remain anonymous after their win, said that they are not regular lottery players but thought that they would give it a go together when they realised that the NZ Powerball jackpot was growing significantly.

Just a few months ago, a couple also from Ashburton won $22 million on the New Zealand Lotto, while a Christchurch winner of $14 million bought his lottery ticket in the town, proving that the town is not exactly unlucky. “We were having a few beers when one of the boys mentioned Powerball was right up there,” one of the winners told NZ Lotto officials as the five of them collected their prize. “We thought we may as well give it a shot and each chipped in a couple of dollars towards a ticket.” They bought their entry for the lottery online.

Another friendship syndicate recently won $10 million on a California lottery scratch card, and a few days later, the five friends got together again to watch the football, and it was during that pub session that they remembered the tickets they’d purchased days before. “Partway through the game we remembered our tickets, so I jumped online to find out whether we’d won anything,” one of the winners said.

The Ashburton local said that one of the first NZ Lotto tickets he checked had a small prize on it, and so he was concentrating on finding out how much that would be and how much it would equal out to between all of them, “Then I saw that we’d won $500,000… I was just stunned.” Beginners luck was proved right, just as it was for a Washington State woman who won $90 million the first ever time she played the Powerball lottery. The Ashburton winner told lottery officials that he didn’t want to get his friends’ hopes up right away, so he checked his email and there was an email from NZ Lotto telling him he’d won a big prize.

“That’s when it really hit me that we really had won and I called the guys over to share the good news. We ended up having a bit of a big night, that’s for sure.”

Each with $100,000 in their bank accounts, the group of friends are all looking forward to spending their winnings, but one of the winners said that nobody has quite decided exactly how they’re going to be spending their cut of the lottery fortune.

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