Lotto spin for lucky gran

By Sophie Ryan

Sandi Ayerst can't wait to see a swimming pool in her backyard. The Whangarei grandmother, who won $200,000 on Lotto's Winning Wheel on Saturday, also wants to pay off the house.

Sandi was travelling back to Whangarei with her daughter when she stopped to purchase the winning ticket from Hikurangi Four Square.

Sandi, who has lived in Whangarei for 34 years, was washing the dishes when the 9pm Lotto draw came on television and her daughter screamed.

"I heard that the winning wheel was bought in Hikurangi, but I was more interested in doing the dishes," she said.

"Then my daughter screamed "Oh my God Mum, you're the winner."

Sandi said she couldn't believe it until she took the ticket back to Hikurangi and had it checked.

She said throughout the whole journey, Lotto had been a wonderful support for her.

"They've absolutely pampered me," she said.

"I think it was more exciting being a Winning Wheel winner than if I had won first division - they make you feel one in a million."

Sandi took her daughter Angel with her on their weekend in Wellington, where they stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel and was treated to a shopping spree.

"The shopping was amazing. My shoes cost $180. For some people that's not much but for me that is amazing."

Sandi said she is spending the winnings on a pool, a spa, paying off her mortgage and helping out her family.

"My whanau know me, they know I am very practical and level-headed, and even if I had won a million, I wouldn't have changed," she said.

All Lotto players are automatically entered into the Winning Wheel draw.

The Winning Wheel winner spins the wheel live on TV to win prizes worth up to $1 million.

As part of the prize package, the winner is flown to Wellington for the draw, put up at a top hotel and given a shopping trip to buy an outfit to wear on the show.

Meanwhile, more Winning Wheel luck could be on its way for Northland, with Saturday's Winning Wheel ticket bought at Mags N' More in Dargaville.

The serial number is 728-00946708-20XX.

- Northern Advocate

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