Seven lucky Kiwis have become overnight multi-millionaires this year, and the latest Lotto winner was completely unaware she’d just scored more than $10 million.
Today the $10.3 million-dollar winner, who didn’t want to be named, said she completely forgot she even bought the golden ticket.
She now hopes to spend some of her winnings on buying her first home – a goal that had felt unachievable, she said.
“I buy tickets when I’m feeling lucky,” she said.
“I buy a dip ticket – I like to leave it to luck and chance.”
But luck and chance seemed to have found her when she took a detour from her Sunday walk to scan her just-remembered ticket at Richmond Road Superette.
“I scanned my ticket, but it must have been crumpled as the machine couldn’t read it, so I straightened it out and scanned it again,” she said.
“The words ‘Congratulations Division 1 Winner’ popped up – I was surprised, but unsure of what it meant.”
Confused, she took her winning ticket to the Lotto operator to check it.
“The lady put my ticket through the machine. She looked up and said, ‘you’ve won $10.3 million’ and we just kind of stared at each other for quite some time, not knowing what to do,” she said.
“I was so shocked, I needed to sit down, the lady and her manager brought me a chair. I suddenly felt really hot and started to remove the many layers I had needed earlier on my walk.”
Staff locked the store and took the woman into a back room for water and a breather.
“They were so happy for me, and very helpful at quite an overwhelming time, which I appreciated – even their dog seemed concerned and sat on my lap as if to try and help,” she said.
In a daze, the new multi-millionaire wandered to her local fruit and veg market to buy the week’s supplies.
“It was a bit like I was living in a dream – it felt like everyone was smiling at me, like they all knew that something amazing had just happened. I’m so unbelievably happy – this really couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Her family was overjoyed about her good – and abundant – fortune, she said.
“They couldn’t believe it – it was amazing to see their faces light up when they realised it was true. Everyone was so overjoyed and there were lots of hugs and kisses.”
Dela Bernard, whose Ponsonby store sold the winning ticket, earlier told the Herald she was overjoyed at selling the winning ticket.
“That’s great news, I’m so happy,” she said at the time.
Loyal Lotto patrons from all over Auckland came to buy tickets at her store, deemed to be “lucky” after it had sold a second division winning ticket, she said.
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