Rumours fly over $27m Lotto winner's identity

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Jensen Zeng pictured in his shop in central Tauranga this morning after learning he sold the winning $27 million Big Wednesday ticket in last nights lotto draw. Photo / Alan Gibson
Jensen Zeng pictured in his shop in central Tauranga this morning after learning he sold the winning $27 million Big Wednesday ticket in last nights lotto draw. Photo / Alan Gibson

Rumours are spreading like wildfire around Tauranga today about the supposed winner of last night's $27 million Big Wednesday jackpot.

A Greerton man in his mid 20s and a Mt Maunganui family are both rumoured to have won the big prize.

A source said they understood the Greerton man was the winner, and he was on his way to Wellington.

AJ's Lotto & Tobacconist in Tauranga, where the winning ticket was sold, was phoned this morning by a person who asked to check their numbers.

When they were confirmed, the person started screaming down the line and told store staff they were going to come in.

Whether this was true or a hoax, the store owners were not sure.

The atmosphere at AJ's Lotti is electric today.

People are streaming through the doors of the Devonport Rd store as punters check their tickets and hope for the big win.

Linda Zeng, who owns the Lotto store with her husband Jensen, was hysterical this morning when customers came in and checked their numbers.

A reporter at the store said every time a person checked their ticket on the machine, she held her breath and waited.

When it was clear they hadn't won, Mrs Zeng let out a huge sigh and an excited giggle.

"She's really happy and giggling at everyone,'' the reporter said.

"Every time someone comes in she's laughing and shouting and saying she's so happy.''

Some of the punters who checked their Big Wednesday tickets at the downtown Tauranga store this morning thought they could be genuine winners.

Others knew they hadn't won, as they had purchased their tickets elsewhere, but came along and checked their numbers anyway.

At 10.20am this morning, the winner had not been at the store and claimed the prize - $25,592,110 in cash plus luxury prizes.

Big Wednesday wins

* Biggest: $36m in Masterton, 2009.
* 2nd biggest: Last night's $27m.
* 3rd biggest: $13m in Thames, 2006.
* 4th biggest: $12m in Wellington, 2006.

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