Whangarei's newest Lotto millionaires have spoken out about their new-found wealth and plans to trade in an old hatchback for their dream car.
The couple plan to keep working and the win only came about after switching their own numbers for a Power Dip two months ago.
The couple in their 50s, who do not want to be identified, contacted the Northern Advocate after their winning ticket was confirmed in the store they bought it from, Corner Cardz N' Magz in Maunu Rd, on Tuesday afternoon.
"Naturally we are very excited but until the money's in the bank it won't really sink in," the couple said.
"Apart from immediate family we choose to remain anonymous, not even our closest friends will be told. We have decided to continue working at our jobs - as good as it is, it's not enough to retire on yet - and our workmates are totally oblivious to our good fortune."
The woman said it wasn't until Sunday around 9pm when she went online that she found out they had won.
"My jaw dropped. I checked them again and again, my eyes wide open. I was aghast, then without any emotion went to a family member and asked if they could check my ticket for me. Then I watched over their shoulder whilst they went through the numbers, hoping they would check off the same numbers and I hadn't made a mistake. Then they checked off the sixth and final number, then I knew I was a winner."
The couple thought it would be a good gesture to go back to Corner Cardz N' Magz to lodge the claim, rather than go to Wellington as she had always thought she might.
"And I'm so glad I did. That personal touch just made it that bit more special and someone I don't know in Wellington wouldn't have given us a hug like [owner] Bobbi-Jo [Crane]," the woman said.
"And yes, I'll be back there to buy my next Lotto ticket - you've got to be in to win."
The winning ticket was a Power Dip after the couple stopped using their own numbers about two months ago.
"We got sick of not winning anything on it."
Ms Crane said it was a thrill for her to be able to confirm the couple's win with a big hug at the store on Tuesday.
"I didn't think they would come in. I thought they'd go to Wellington to get it done or somewhere else, so it was very, very special when they did," Ms Crane said.
"They are lovely people and it's great it's gone to local people."
The couple are passionate about classic cars and may now fulfil their dream of owning a vintage Ford Mustang.
"Now we can actually buy the car of our dreams and say goodbye to the little hatchback we've been driving for years," the woman said.
There have been 136 First Division Lotto, Strike and Powerball winners in Northland in the past 25 years, bringing home a grand total of $87,572,627.
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