James Ihaka

James Ihaka is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

$26m: Now, where to hide that Lotto ticket

Nilesh Shah owns the shop called Willie Wonka where the winning Lotto ticket was sold. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Nilesh Shah owns the shop called Willie Wonka where the winning Lotto ticket was sold. Photo / Steven McNicholl

Lotto has some simple advice for the winner of the sixth-biggest prize in its history - write your name and details on the winning ticket before you do anything else.

A Powerball player with a ticket sold in Auckland scooped Saturday night's $26.2 million jackpot.

The winning ticket, sold at Willy Wonka in Westfield Downtown, will be worth $26,061,898 from Powerball first division and $200,000 from Lotto first division.

But Lotto spokeswoman Kirsten McConchie said Powerball's first winner of 2014 had not come forward by last night.

She urged the winner to write their name, address and phone number on the ticket to make it "secure".

Previous Lotto winners have gone to extremes to keep their ticket safe including hiding it in a Bible, in their underwear or under a heavy filing cabinet, or taping it to their body.

"Lots of our winners keep it on them on their body, in their wallet and some people have kept it in their bras ... We have had winners who said they kept their tickets in secret hiding places they wouldn't reveal even after collecting their winnings."

Ms McConchie said it was not uncommon for winners not to immediately collect their winnings.

Last year, it took Lotto a month to track down a Christchurch man who had won $22.6 million in a Big Wednesday draw.

"For all we know the [weekend's] winner may not even know there is a winner yet."

Willy Wonka owner Nilesh Shah said he hoped the winner would go back to his shop to pay him a visit but he thinks they may be a tourist.

- NZ Herald

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