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Lotto advice to rich 'Westie'

By Andrew Koubaridis

Helen Stevens won $18million 6 years ago. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
Helen Stevens won $18million 6 years ago. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

A former big Lotto winner says the man who won $33 million at the weekend will need good advice because the win will be overpowering.

Helen Stevens, 67, won $18 million with her then husband six years ago in what was the country's first really big Lotto win.

"We had media trying to get at us, it was just so stressful ... those people will just be stunned, because you have no idea how much that money is and what needs to happen to it."

A self-proclaimed "Westie" from Auckland has come forward to claim the largest individual Powerball prize of $33 million.

The man, who wants to remain anonymous, was driving to work and heard on the radio that the prize was still unclaimed, and realised he'd bought a ticket from the Ponsonby shop that sold the winning ticket.

Mrs Stevens said her advice to him was to get an accountant and solicitor. "And stay out of the limelight as much as you can. At least for a little while."

When the man heard the prize was unclaimed he thought it could be him.

"But I still went to the gym before checking my tickets. I thought, 'Well if I've just won $33 million I might not be able to concentrate on getting my exercise done afterwards', I guess I didn't really think it would be me."

The man said he was calm on the outside but "stressed on the inside, but trying to remain calm".

"The first thing I want to do is help out friends and family. And maybe my wife would like a new car. We've only ever bought secondhand cars before.

"I can't get my head around the fact that we can afford a new car now. I think it will take a while for it to seem real."

- additional reprting APNZ

- NZ Herald

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