It took three announcements of her name before Dana Cocks realised she was the winner of a sparkling $12,000 diamond.

Dana, who married television personality and terminally-ill John "Cocksy" Cocks last June, said the couple were blown away with the chance win at the charity lunch last weekend.

"It was just an amazing atmosphere. Everyone kept coming up to us and congratulating us and saying it was awesome."

The Diamond in the Bubbles event was part of a fundraiser for the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust held at Man O' War Vineyards on Waiheke Island last Sunday.


Each of the 200 glasses of Tulia bubbles held a gemstone, but 199 were man-made cubic zirconias, cut to look exactly like the real diamond.

Dana, the general manager of sales and marketing for Fullers Ferries, and Cocksy bought two of the $100 glasses on arrival and pocketed those stones for safe-keeping in case one of them was "the one".

But when Cocksy went to the nearby beach for a swim, Dana decided to try her luck again and buy one more glass.

"There was about 40 glasses left and I said 'I don't know, which one, which one?'. There was just no way of telling.

"I just picked a glass and took it away. You had to take your gem up and a jeweller checked it."

When Dana produced the third-time lucky gem for checking the jeweller knew immediately it was the Sutcliffe-donated diamond, but stayed silent and kept a poker face.

Dana Cocks discovers she has won the $12,000 diamond. Photo/Matt Meikle/ARHT
Dana Cocks discovers she has won the $12,000 diamond. Photo/Matt Meikle/ARHT

"It had so much excitement around it," Dana said. "The table next to us, they dropped theirs in the grass so you could see them all on the floor, frantically trying to find it on the ground."

Back at the table Dana and Cocksy and their friends continued to enjoy the event until the winning announcement was made at the end of the day.


Initially when Dana's name was called she didn't hear it. When the name came a second time: "One of my colleagues sitting next to me punched me in the arm and went 'Oh my God, that's you!'."

Stunned Dana couldn't believe it but when her name was read a third time: "Cocksy looked at me and said 'Oh my God babe that's you'. So it was pretty awesome."

John and Dana Cocks celebrate their win. Photo/Matt Meikle/ARHT
John and Dana Cocks celebrate their win. Photo/Matt Meikle/ARHT

Cancer-stricken Cocksy, a builder and reality TV star from My House, My Castle and April's Angels, wanted to have been the one to buy the glass with the diamond but was rapt for his wife, Dana said.

The couple haven't yet decided how to use the 0.8ct round brilliant cut diamond because Dana already had "beautiful rings" from their recent wedding.

After Cocksy was diagnosed with terminal kidney cancer last year and given two years to live, he decided to propose to Dana in classic Cocksy style by telling her to marry him and make herself the "happiest woman in the world".

An Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust spokesman said when the team learned who the lucky recipient was, "we couldn't have been happier".

"It was nice to be able to make the day extra special for the couple."