Tess Nichol is an NZME. News Service reporter.

Daring Kiwi gran wins big in lottery

A new set of teeth, a new home and world travel top the shopping list for a Kiwi great-grandmother who won big in a European lottery.

Diana De Gilio, 70, will return to New Zealand with an extra $2 million in her pocket after striking it lucky in the EuroMillions lotteries draw. The retired carer - who travelled to Europe to celebrate her 70th birthday - also picked up a luxury holiday to Bali and Lombok worth $80,000.

"I've been having a ball," De Gilio last night told the Herald on Sunday from the UK. "I will just keep travelling now, I don't have to count my pennies."

The win would help fund her love for travelling. She wanted to see the world "probably until they put me in a box. I'm in my 70s so I've got a lot to see.

"For this trip I'd been house-sitting in Katikati and Tauranga since Christmas to save. And now look what's happened. I've got enough to go everywhere."

De Gilio will return to New Zealand at the end of the month and her plans include buying health insurance and presents for her three daughters, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

The over-sized novelty cheque she was presented with will join her on her flight home. "It's going to be fabulous. I'm going to have a great time."

De Gilio bought her winning ticket on May 27 almost by accident. She had popped to the shops in Great Massingham, Norfolk, to claim $20 winnings from scratchie cards, noticed an advert promoting the EuroMillions draw and decided to take a punt. "I did not listen to the draw the next day, but the following day we stopped at a supermarket after having dinner," she said in an earlier interview with the Eastern Daily Press.

"It was the last one of my five tickets that made the machine produce two slips of paper. They just popped out. The lady on the counter turned to me and said it must be a big win and I needed to call [organisers] Camelot."

De Gilio this week celebrated the win with a UK-based friend, Sandy Marsden, who was with the Kiwi when she bought the winning ticket and is now set to also enjoy the spoils of De Gilio's winnings.

"She's taking me with her to Bali and Lombok, which I'm really looking forward to," Marsden said.

"It's been so nice having her stay. I've had a millionaire mowing the lawns and cutting hedges all week."

De Gilio said of the upcoming luxury trip: "I'll be horizontal all the way home so that'll be good. First class all the way."

- Herald on Sunday

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