Mystery mounts over $1m Lotto winner

By Imran Ali of the Northern Advocate -
Bobbi-Jo Crane sold the winning first division prize of $1 million and the winning wheel ticket from her Whangarei store. Photo / Christine Allen
Bobbi-Jo Crane sold the winning first division prize of $1 million and the winning wheel ticket from her Whangarei store. Photo / Christine Allen

The identity of Northland's overnight millionaire who won a first division Lotto prize of $1 million remains a mystery.

But the North's Lotto luck doesn't end there - another winner has scooped the winning wheel ticket from the same store in Whangarei.

Corner Cardz N' Magz on Maunu Rd struck a double whammy and owner Bobbi-Jo Crane is as curious to find out who the winners are as anybody.

"This is so exciting. I am going to be smiling for some time," said an ecstatic Ms Crane after selling the Lotto first division prize and the winning wheel ticket.

The avid rugby supporter is expecting a "Lotto scrum" at her shop from her customers as Lotto players scramble to check their tickets.

NZ Lotteries said it was remarkable for a store to sell both a first division and a winning wheel ticket on the same draw.

"This has only happened once before in the 25 years Lotto has been running - in September 2011, Pain and Kershaw in Martinborough sold a Lotto Powerball First Division ticket and the Winning Wheel ticket," NZ Lotteries spokeswoman Hanna Kilpin said.

The winning tickets in Whangarei were unclaimed by yesterday afternoon and Ms Crane hopes both winners are from Northland.

Years ago, she sold a winning ticket that yielded $1.3 million but the latest jackpot was special in that two winners struck it lucky.

"This is so fantastic. I checked my ticket twice and it wasn't me," she said.

"There are people on holiday, on cruises at the moment so somebody could come back a millionaire."

Ms Crane was oblivious to the Lotto draw on Saturday evening as she was watching her rugby team, the Chiefs, play in Sydney.

"I came to the shop [yesterday] to get some stuff and turned on the [computer] terminal and it said Corner Cardz N'Magz. There's another shop by this name in Wellington but it was mine," she said.

Signs that her shop sold the Lotto and winning wheel tickets should be up in the coming weeks.

"You can't buy that kind of publicity. I love my customers, they are my family and I've told them that I won't quit my business until I've made all of them a winner."

She's been running the business for 16 years.

Powerball was not struck and has jackpotted to $6 million.

Strike was won by a player in Te Kauwhata, who won $149,692.

The winning ticket was sold at Te Kauwhata Foodmarket.

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