Patrice Dougan

Patrice Dougan is a NZME. News Service reporter based in Auckland.

Visiting Aussie bags $1m NZ Lotto

An Australian grandfather visiting relatives in Auckland pocketed $1 million after choosing his unlucky number to win Lotto at the weekend.

The retired Aussie, who wants to remain anonymous, said he started yelling and shouting "we won, we won'' when he realised his numbers had come up in Saturday night's first division draw.

He plans to be sensible with his new-found cash - lodging it safely in the bank until he can decide what to spend it on.

The man said he regularly plays Lotto when he visits New Zealand because "even when you don't win, you know you're supporting the community'', and checks his tickets every Sunday with the family.

"I send the grandchildren out to the shop to buy the paper and we check the numbers together. This time my granddaughter read out the numbers as I circled them on the ticket, and they all came up on one line,'' he said.

"I started yelling, 'we won, we won, we won'. It was very exciting.''

He said the numbers he picked were "all special''.

"Birthdays, and addresses. I even picked my unlucky number 37. So I guess that makes it a lucky number now,'' he laughed.

But the grandfather said he is trying to keep calm and level-headed about becoming a millionaire, saying it's only when people start talking about the win that he "starts to feel butterflies in my stomach again''.

He's planning to deposit his winnings - $940,482 in Australian currency - in the bank while he weighs up what to do with it, but helping out family in New Zealand and overseas was his number one priority.

- APNZ

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