One ticket, $33m windfall

By Poppy Wortman, Anna Bracewell

Jackpot struck by a Division 2 ticket sold in a shoe repair shop in Ponsonby

Lotto presenter Jordan Vandermade with the No 4 ball that made someone a multi-millionaire last night. Photo / Frances Oliver
Lotto presenter Jordan Vandermade with the No 4 ball that made someone a multi-millionaire last night. Photo / Frances Oliver

Five numbers - plus the crucial Powerball number four - was all it took for one person to take home last night's must-win $33-million jackpot.

Nobody struck Division One with Powerball and, incredibly, there was only one Division 2 winner who also picked the Powerball.

The winning ticket was sold at the One Step Ahead shoe repair shop in Ponsonby. Owner Gary Ashton was gobsmacked when the Herald on Sunday called moments after the draw, and said he hoped he had bought the ticket himself.

"Holy cow! I don't know if it's my ticket yet, but I'm blown away. Speechless. That's fantastic.

"It'll be interesting to see if anyone comes in to claim it."

The city-fringe suburb of Ponsonby is one of Auckland's most sought-after areas and had a median sale price last month of $1 million, according to realtors Ray White.

Lotto spokeswoman Emilia Mazur said it was the largest individual Powerball prize in the game's history.

And the allure of a $33 million windfall meant many people went without their usual other treats this week. High hopes of landing the golden ticket had Steffi Smith forgoing the "naughty stuff".

The West Auckland single mother, 24, went without her usual junk food and cellphone top-up, saying the prospect of winning the jackpot proved too much to resist.

"I got the ticket before I did the food shopping because I have a tight budget and I took it out of that," she said. "I always make sure I can afford the essentials for my son, but I go without what I would normally spoil myself with, like the chocolate biscuits and fizzy drinks."

Retailers Association chief executive John Albertson said the millions of dollars spent on tickets this week would have a significant impact on the retail sector across the board.

"The money has certainly got to come from somewhere. Probably the basics won't shift much but the more discretionary stuff will."

Lotto fever peaked yesterday with thousands of tickets being sold at busy outlets.

Mazur said the top-selling stores were Manukau Pak'n'Save, Eastridge Lotto in Kohimarama and High Point Temptation in Birkenhead.

"All stores are busy, sales have been going crazy all week. Someone's life is going to change forever," she said.

Eastridge Lotto's Vivian Taylor opened at 8 o'clock yesterday morning and said it had been "go go go", with streams of people flocking in.

- Herald on Sunday

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