Christchurch man claims $22.5m Powerball prize: ‘My mind was racing with 22 million ideas’

It was a weekend to remember for one lucky MyLotto player from Christchurch after winning $22.5 million on Saturday.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, was feeling lucky after recently winning two raffle prizes, so when he bought his regular ticket at the weekend, he wondered whether his little yellow ticket could end up with a bit of extra luck.

“Things tend to run in threes, so I did wonder if l’d win Lotto this weekend,” laughed the winner.

“I play my own numbers every week – I’ve used the same numbers for the past three years after I won a Bonus Ticket the first time I used them.”

Despite the lucky feeling, the man didn’t check his ticket on Saturday night, so it wasn’t until the next morning he realised how lucky he had become.

“I saw the numbers circled off on my ticket one after the other – by the time I saw four in a row I thought I had something pretty good,” he said.

“Then when all six were circled I crossed my fingers and hoped I would see Powerball 3 come up – and there it was. I was absolutely stunned!

“I called my wife in straight away and said, ‘I think I’ve won Lotto!’. She didn’t believe me!”

After convincing his wife that he wasn’t joking, the couple called their children to share the good news.

“Neither of my kids believed me either – when I told my daughter she just said, ‘I’m sick of your tricks Dad, put Mum on’,” the winner laughed.

While the man admitted that he couldn’t “put his finger on the feeling” of what it was like to win Lotto, he said it was incredible knowing that “the win would set us and the family up for the rest of our lives”.

After “tossing and turning all night”, he and his wife were coming to terms with being New Zealand’s newest millionaires.

“I had so much trouble sleeping that first night after we found out – my mind was racing with 22 million ideas running through my head.”

Now the reality of the windfall is beginning to sink in, the lucky couple are looking forward to enjoying their winnings – and are sleeping well again.

“This win will set us up, our kids up and the grandchildren. You have such a special role to play in the lives of your children and grandchildren – life is all about the memories you leave behind,” said the man.

“We are excited to have more time and freedom to create those memories with them.”

Nine Kiwis have become overnight millionaires with Lotto NZ’s games so far this year, including five people who have won big with Powerball. These players are just some of 987 New Zealanders who have become Lotto NZ millionaires since 1987.

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