Ever since Jeanette Abrams and her partner settled down as parents of three boys, they have not been able to afford family holidays away, let alone a trip to the snow.
But that has all changed now.
Ms Abrams and partner Peter Just have been named the winners of a Bay of Plenty Times Family Escape to the Snow.
Ms Abrams has had little luck looking for work and Mr Just is a sickness beneficiary. Together they get by with enough to help look after sons Haigen, 10, Max, 10 and Steven, 8.
"We've been struggling. It's been real hard," Ms Abrams says. "This [trip] is something we wouldn't have even dreamed of."
The win came as a result of the couple entertaining Max's obsession with collecting puzzle pieces printed in the Bay of Plenty Times, as part of the competition which was drawn on Thursday.
"Max had been obsessed with the idea of collecting the puzzle pieces.
For weeks and weeks he drove us nuts with it, so we sort of humoured him. We thought it would be worth a try," Ms Abrams says.
The family were told this week they had won the snow prize package - a 7-day hire of a Coastal Campers Premier 4 Berth Motorhome, valued at $1635; Mt Ruapehu Rocket Pass for two adults and two children including lessons, gear hire and ski passes, valued at $1230; Caltex Starcash Card for fuel, food, drinks, etc, valued at $500 and Okahune New World Voucher, valued at $500.
Ms Abrams said Haigen and Max would be keen on skiing while Steven would probably be content making snowmen.
"I grew up in Taihape so I know my way around but I haven't been to the mountain for years and years ... None of the kids have been," she said.
Bay of Plenty Times circulation marketing executive Amber Kedian said there was a great response to the competition, with 1434 entries.
"They had to complete the puzzle pieces and send them in with an entry form, so considering they had to go through such an effort, it's a great amount of entries," she says. "We are really excited that a family's won it."