Hawke's Bay had the luck of the draw with Lotto in 2019, with regional winnings totalling more than $20 million, making it the second luckiest region in New Zealand.

The 2019 year started with a bang for Lotto players in the region, when three lucky Napier residents shared a $1 million prize in early January.

Carol Ormerod is ready for another big Lotto year at Unichem Stortford Lodge in Hastings. Photo / Paul Taylor
Carol Ormerod is ready for another big Lotto year at Unichem Stortford Lodge in Hastings. Photo / Paul Taylor

The tickets were sold at Ahuriri Four Square, Paper Plus Taradale and New World Onekawa and each winner took home a cool $333,333.

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The region was on a roll for the rest of the year, ending 2019 with a total of $23.2 million paid out in prizes including 13 First Division wins, from Lotto, Powerball and Strike.

A life-changing $11 million Powerball win was the largest prize won in Hawke's Bay for 2019.

The lucky winner found out the same evening of the draw that he was the winner, but tucked away his ticket and tried to get some sleep.

Needless to say, sleep didn't come easy for the man as he spent most of the night thinking how to surprise his wife with the news that they were the region's newest multi-millionaires.

He held on to the ticket for another two days to "keep the dream alive," before finally finding it too hard to concentrate and checking his ticket in-store.

With the win confirmed, he took his wife out to her favourite restaurant to share the news.

"We had wine and a lovely meal. During dinner, I handed her over a photocopy of the winning ticket and told her to take a look," he said.

"Her immediate response was 'What is this?' that's when I told her to look more closely. When it finally dawned on her what it was, she just kept saying 'Oh is this real? Is this real? No, it can't be real' We couldn't stop pinching ourselves."

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List of Hawke's Bay's luckiest stores for 2019.
List of Hawke's Bay's luckiest stores for 2019.

The winning ticket was sold at Unichem Stortford Lodge Pharmacy in Hastings which is the region's luckiest store, selling three First Division winning tickets in 2019 alone.

The store remains the luckiest in Lotto history with 49 First Division Lotto wins under its belt.

Store general manager Carol Ormerod said that whenever there is a big win it always brings a buzz to the store.

"It's always exciting to hear the news of the win, and now we are sitting on 49 we are all hoping for it to reach 50, which will most likely come sooner rather than later," she said.

"Last year though was a big year with the big $11 million win but also we had a burst of second divisions and another first division win which kept the store busy."

Another lucky winner from Napier, who collected $600,000 with Strike in August 2019, has been ticking off her wish list with a trip to the Australian Open this month and is now planning a big trip to Europe.

The woman was unaware that her local supermarket, Countdown Carlyle, had sold a winning Strike ticket so it came as a big shock to her when the winning music started to play and she was told she had won First Division.

"All I managed to say was 'You've got to be kidding me?'"