It's a lottery winner's worst nightmare - your multi-million dollar winning ticket goes missing and nearly ends up in the wash.
For one Dannevirke couple this nearly came true, when they misplaced their Big Wednesday ticket worth $14.1 million until, after a mad scramble around the house, they found it in the back pocket of a pair of pants in the washing hamper.
"It's normal for me to put my tickets in my wallet, straight after I buy them. But when I went to check them, they weren't there, and then I remembered, just at the last minute before my wife put a load on, that I had stuffed the ticket in my back pocket," the winner said.
News the prize had been claimed in Wellington gave rise to wild speculation around Dannevirke yesterday afternoon, with everyone from the mayor, a man with a young son and farmers being credited with being our latest millionaire.
The winning husband and wife, who wish to remain anonymous, hadn't realised their ticket was worth $14.1 million or that the big jackpot had even been struck until they read about it in the paper,
"After my wife read the story, she told me I better check our ticket, just in case. When I finally found it, it was uncanny, as the winning line of numbers just jumped out at me straight away," the winner said.
"I began shaking uncontrollably and my wife rushed over, thinking I was having a heart attack."
It wasn't until the couple were at the Lotteries Commission office in Wellington collecting their prize that the win began to sink in.
"We've had a few sleepless nights and we've been walking around like zombies, thinking about what we're going to do with the money.
"My wife tried to distract herself by pulling weeds out of the garden and I split some wood to try and clear my head," the winner said.
"And then I thought "what am I doing? I can afford a wood splitter now"."
The couple, who work part-time, describe themselves as ordinary, down-to-earth people, who are always careful and cautious with money.
"We budget everything to the very last dollar - one of our first thoughts when we found out we had won was that we could now turn the heat pump on more often."
Other items on the wish list include renovations to the house, and helping family.
"We're also going to celebrate with a bottle of expensive wine, which will be a real treat for us as we usually only buy cask wine."
But don't expect a new Lamborghini to be cruising down the local Dannevirke streets any time soon.
"We decided the Lamborghini wasn't for us, you can't put a tow bar on a Lamborghini," the winner said.
The winners claim their windfall will change their circumstances but not their personality.
"If we can get a bargain at the Warehouse, we'll still be shopping there with everyone else."
The winning ticket was bought from Blockbuster Dannevirke.
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