A Cambridge mum came close to setting fire to a winning Lotto ticket chucking it into a pile of paper marked for burning.
Lotto has revealed a golden ticket for a top-of-the-line car in last weekend's Mother's Day promotion was one cold night away from catastrophe when the woman, who wants to stay anonymous, thought it was a dud.
"I checked my Lotto tickets first and saw I had won a couple of bonus tickets, which I was happy with," said the winner.
"Then I had a quick glance at the Mother's Day promo results, but didn't think I'd won anything, so tossed my ticket in a pile of paper to be burned and thought nothing more of it."
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It wasn't until the next day that the winner, a dairy farmer, realised she may have been too hasty throwing away her ticket.
"I was waiting in line to claim the bonus tickets I had won, when I saw a poster at the counter saying that the store had sold an Audi A1.
"I told the Lotto lady that I didn't think they'd sold a big winner, so I'd chucked my ticket in the bin. She told me to that I better go home and get it out of the bin, just in case," said the winner.
Luckily for the dairy farmer she was able to retrieve the crumpled ticket from the bin and sat down at the computer to re-check the results.
After checking her ticket over and over again, it dawned on her how close she had been to watching her flash new car go up in smoke.
"We normally burn our rubbish on Sundays but hadn't this week because of the weather. So it was actually really lucky we still had the ticket - we could have been rummaging through the ashes otherwise."
The winner and her husband then went back in store the next day to claim their prize.
"I think the Lotto lady was surprised to see me. She was so happy for us and we gave her a bunch of flowers to say thank you for reuniting us with our prize," she said.
The winner was one of five players who won an Audi A1. The other four were sold in Tauranga, Napier, Upper Hutt and Ashburton.