Whangarei lotto winner left speechless after claiming $5.5 million prize

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Sunnyside Foodmarket owners Ketan Patel and Sejai Patel were excited after selling the $5.5m winning Lotto ticket. Photo / John Stone
Sunnyside Foodmarket owners Ketan Patel and Sejai Patel were excited after selling the $5.5m winning Lotto ticket. Photo / John Stone

The country's newest millionaire was in no hurry to check his lotto ticket as he didn't realise the $5.5m winning ticket had been bought so close to home.

"I didn't think anything of it until I got home from work. I had a few minutes to myself, so figured I might as well see what the winning numbers were," said the Whangarei man.

"I pulled up the winning numbers on the computer and ran my eyes over the ticket. It didn't take long to see that I had all the winning numbers - they just popped out at me.

"I shouted, 'I've got the lot!' and then ran to get my wife to make sure I hadn't stuffed something up. When she saw the ticket she was as stunned as I was - not a lot was said to be honest," said the winner.

Lotto said the man was left speechless after finding out that he'd won Wednesday's $5.5 million with Powerball First Division .

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, had no idea a big prize had been won in the area so was in no hurry to check his lucky ticket.

After finding out just how much their little yellow piece of paper was worth, the winner and his wife headed straight to their local Lotto shop to claim their prize.

"We popped the ticket under the ticket checker first, just to make sure we hadn't gotten something wrong. When that flashed up 'Major Prize Winner', I went over to the Lotto counter and quietly said 'come over here' to the store owner.

"He looked at the ticket, then back at me and shook my hand - I think he was as shocked as I was," laughed the winner.

With the prize claimed, the winner and his wife went home and celebrated their big win in a relatively laidback fashion.

"We just sat down with a beer and a glass of wine, trying to make sense of what had just happened. We didn't really know what to do - we couldn't believe our luck."

With the prize safely in the winner's bank account, the lucky couple are now looking forward to deciding how to spend their winnings.

"We don't want to rush into anything, so we're planning on investing most of it for a year or so. But we do want to pay off the mortgage and help the kids out - we might even splash out on a holiday next year.

"And I'll be retiring early now, that's for sure.

The winning ticket was sold at Sunnyside Foodmarket in Whangarei. He is the 10th player to win big with Powerball so far this year.

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