A $1 million winning Lotto ticket sold in Dargaville has finally been claimed after a man walked around with the ticket in his pocket for a month, unaware of the wealth it held.
But the winner was not from Dargaville, having picked up his ticket while passing through the town.
The winner, who does not want to be named, is from elsewhere in the North Island. He said he bought the Lotto ticket from Dargaville's Countdown supermarket in the week leading up to June 14.
After nearly a month of walking around with the ticket, he finally got it checked this week and was astonished at his new-found riches.
He said despite news of the win causing a buzz in the region, he had no idea he was holding the lucky ticket until he checked a pile of old tickets he had in his wallet.
"I got such a huge surprise when I finally got around to checking the ticket. I had a few tickets waiting to be checked, but never imagined one would be so lucky," the man said.
"My mind just went blank and I began to feel a bit sick. I mean, $1 million? It's a bit to get your head around, eh? I had to go home and sit down for a bit.
"I can't believe I've been carrying the winning Lotto ticket in my wallet for three weeks."
He is excited about the impact the win will have on him and his family.
"We've paid off the mortgage and we can finish the renovations we've been working away at for a while now. The rest is going to be invested for our retirement - it's such a weight off our shoulders," he said.
The family celebrated with a bottle of bubbly, but plan to continue with life as usual.
"The win will make life more comfortable, but we'll still be the same people.
"We'll keep working and playing Lotto, that's for sure," he said.
"I might have to visit Dargaville again - it seems to be a bit of a lucky place."
Lotto, Powerball and Strike have jackpotted, meaning there is a combined prize pool of $9.9 million up for grabs in tonight's draw.
Powerball First Division will be an estimated $7.5 million, Lotto First Division will be an estimated $2 million, and Strike Four will be worth an estimated $400,000.