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Lotto says a man had a winning $5.5m lotto ticket in his glove box for nearly a month.
The man wished to remain anonymous and was completely oblivious that he had driven around with a multi-million dollar winning ticket in his car glove box for nearly a month.
“My daughter had been hounding me to check my ticket, but I just hadn’t gotten around to it,” said the man. “I never once thought I would be the lucky winner anyway – it’s unbelievable!”
“It was such a shock when the Lotto people approached me and told me they thought I was the owner of a ticket worth $5.5 million,” said the man. “I just kept thinking, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’… but they weren’t!”
“They asked me if I had my ticket with me – which I did, so we checked off the numbers manually using the Lotto NZ App. All of them matched, and the first thing the lady said was to write my name on the back.”
“That’s when it hit me, and I thought to myself ‘oh my God, this is life-changing.’”
“Next time I’ll listen to my daughter when she tells me to check my ticket!” He laughed.
The winning ticket was not found and was odd for lotto since it was such a large prize to go unclaimed for weeks. So, they went to look for the winner.
“Powerball winners usually claim their prize within a few days of winning, so after a couple of weeks of waiting for them to come forward, we decided to try and track the winner down,” says Marie Winfield, Head of Communications and CSR for Lotto NZ.
“We were absolutely thrilled to be able to track the ticket to the lucky winner as there was a digital footprint that created a path and helped us to identify them. We are so pleased for the winner and his family,” says Marie.
Two Lotto employees broke the good news to the man.
“It’s not every day you get to approach someone on the street and tell them that we think they are a multi-millionaire,” says Marie.
“They said the best thing was seeing the look on the man’s face when he checked the ticket, and he realised they weren’t joking, describing it as ‘absolutely priceless.’”
After being informed about his win, the man went home to tell his wife the great news.
“He came home and said ‘we need to go up to Auckland this week love…. I’ve won Lotto’ it was unbelievable really, but I knew he was telling the truth,” she said.
The man called his daughter, who was surprised to know the great news, winning the $5.5m prize.
“I just called her and said, ‘guess what… two Lotto people visited me today to tell me I was the $5.5 million Morrinsville winner,’” he laughed. “It still sounds weird saying it!”
The winning ticket was sold at Paper Plus Morrinsville for the draw on Saturday 17 October 2020.