Lotto boost for red zone couple

By Jarrod Booker

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A couple whose lives were thrown into turmoil by the Christchurch earthquakes have won a $5.5 million Lotto prize.

The Christchurch pair, who have been living in "limbo-land" in a house in an earthquake red zone over the past few months, claimed their Powerball winnings at the Lotteries Commission office in Wellington today.

"It has been very hard - having no toilet for months at a time, living in a stuffed house and dealing with all the issues that we had to face, however we do try and put things in perspective," the winning woman from the couple said.

"At least we still have our health, and we have not lost any close friends, or family members, as a result of the earthquakes."

Their outlook got even brighter when the couple checked their winning ticket online on Sunday night.

"I checked the date of the draw and our numbers so many times, finding it hard to believe that it was really happening," the woman said.

"Originally I thought we had won $500,000 and was over the moon with that, but then I called in my partner, and he found that we had actually won Powerball as well."

"There was a lot of screeching and yelling after that, and very little sleep. We were paranoid about another earthquake happening that night, so I pinned the ticket in a zip lock bag to our headboard - to make sure we could find it in an emergency."

The couple now plan to try to find some land to build a brand new house of their dreams in the Christchurch area. Overseas travel and a new car are also on the shopping list.

The couple's winning ticket was sold at Stanmore New World in Christchurch. Their prize is made up of $500,000 from Lotto First Division, and $5 million from Powerball First Division.

The couple claimed their prize just two weeks after a $26 million Lotto Powerball prize was won in Te Kauwhata.

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