Rumours are rife about who has the missing winning $6.5 million Lotto ticket sold in Gisborne, but one suspect has cleared the air.

The first division winner from Saturday's draw was sold by Grant Bros. During the past few days there have been a number of suggestions on social media about who has the ticket.

Gisborne district councillor Meredith Akuhata-Brown is one.

"I have had a lot of people ask me and then when [The Herald] asked I laughed out loud," she said.


"I have had messages congratulating me and my daughter is in Wellington at university. She has been asked if the family won."

Like most people, even though she has only ever bought three Lotto tickets in her life because she doesn't believe in gambling, she has some great dreams and aspirations if she did win.

"I would invest back into our city. Youth is my focus. I would like to turn the skate park into an indoor/outdoor area, with a roof. Some of our kids down there take their shirts off in the heat and I worry about our melanoma rate.

"We would also have a graffiti art space and a hip-hop dance studio. We can close it all off and have a cinema, an area for music for things like Rockquest and a place for paintball. I would turn that spot into a space dedicated for youth."

Scholarships are another area where Akuhata-Brown would invest.

"There are a lot of families here who cannot break the poverty cycle and education is the key. If we can get more young people to go further in education, then they can be the paddlers who break the cycle. That's my dream."

She is a great fan of Social Economic Environment Development (SEED), an organisation that promotes entrepreneurship for sustainable development.

"It promotes the use of natural assets in a region. I am keen on floristry up the coast. What flower could we grow that could become Tairawhiti's flower?"

Akuhata-Brown said councillors yesterday went for a bus tour to the top of the Coast.

"There are huge issues up there with erosion. There is sediment impact on rivers from Cyclone Bola. Provincial people love living in the area but what can we add to the lifestyle?"

Another area to invest winnings would be social housing, she said.

"I would love to see more whanau in their own homes."

With her community dreams and aspirations, Akuhata-Brown says she thinks she should be the person to win.

"However, I have lived in a Third World country. I feel very rich with what I have got. Don't get me wrong, if I did win I would pay my mortgage, get some new shoes and a new lipstick for sure."

Dreams aside, Akuhata-Brown hopes the winner is a local person.

"I hope they have a generous heart and are wise with it."

• Lotto New Zealand is still waiting for the lucky winner to claim the prize.

The $6.5 million win is the third and largest Powerball First Division prize won in the area since the game began.

Anyone who bought a ticket from Grant Bros. in Gisborne is encouraged to sign the back of the ticket and check it immediately at any Lotto outlet, online at or through Lotto NZ's ticket-checker app.