Lotto winner claims massive prize

Te Kauwhata supermarket check-out operator Trevor with his winning $26,000,000 Lotto ticket at the NZ Lotteries Commission in Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Te Kauwhata supermarket check-out operator Trevor with his winning $26,000,000 Lotto ticket at the NZ Lotteries Commission in Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The winner of the weekend's $26 million Lotto Powerball jackpot will be back at work at 5am tomorrow, operating the checkout at the Countdown supermarket in Te Kauwhata.

The 34-year-old said his knees went to jelly and he collapsed to the floor when he realised the winning ticket was his.

Laughter and tears flowed in disbelief as he and his flatmate celebrated the third biggest individual prize in NZ Lotteries' history.

The ticket was sold at Te Kauwhata Four Square Foodmarket.

The prize is made up of $333,333 from Lotto First Division, and $26,264,932 million from Powerball First Division.

"It's sort of surreal at the time to, sort of, try comprehend how much money that is," Trevor Cooper told TV3's Campbell Live tonight.

He said the biggest purchase of his life so far was $19,000 he spent on his first Chevrolet Silverado, but since his big win he has been looking more closely at For Sale signs on the side of the road.

"And it's unreal to think that what's for sale, if I wanted I could buy it."

Mr Cooper had been to Australia following his passion in life - motorsport - and said he may take a holiday to clear his head and work out what to do next.

"Possibly head overseas somewhere. Follow a bit of racing, maybe do a bit of racing. Um, we'll come home, we'll re-evaluate everything, work out what we want to do and we'll go from there."

He said he had a good support network of friends and family around him who will be quick to kick him in the pants if he starts to get out of control.

"It's not just me that's sort of involved. It involves my whole family, you know. My nieces, my nephew, my sister, my brother in law, they're all part of it."

Te Kauwhata's most eligible bachelor said he plans to take every day as it comes. He had just finished a 26-week department manager training programme, and wanted to step his way up through the company.

He had no plans to leave the job.

"The company I work for is just like one big family. We all look after each other. I couldn't ask for a better place to work and I enjoy working with the people I do and the job that I'm doing.

"Yep. It's just another day tomorrow."

- APNZ

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