An Auckland student is $20,000 richer after buying an Instant Kiwi scratchie to kill time.

Sam, who did not want his last name used, and a friend were waiting to board a plane to Wellington last week when they decided to buy a few $2 tickets at Auckland Airport.

"We scratched our tickets while we were waiting at the gate. My mate won $100 on one of his ones and he said he'd shout me drinks that night to celebrate, so we were pretty stoked," said Sam.

Little did the 18-year-old university student know that he was about to get a whole lot luckier.

"I scratched my Lucky Rainbow ticket and realised that I had all the letters for the bottom word - pyjamas.


"I couldn't believe it when I scratched the prize and saw that I'd won $20,000, so I threw the ticket to my mate and said 'I need you to check this, I think I've won $20,000'. We both sat there checking it over and over and getting pretty excited before I thought about heading back to the Lotto shop to collect my prize."

With just 15 minutes until boarding, Sam raced back through security to claim (and triple check) his winnings at the Relay store.

"As soon as I got in the shop I said 'I think I've got the big one' and handed them the ticket. They didn't believe me at first, but as soon as they put it into the machine and it played that winning music they couldn't get the grins off their faces. They were pretty stoked for me," he said.

Not many other people believed Sam at first either.

"I texted my family as I ran back to get on the plane and they called me straight back to see if I was kidding. My sister asked how I won the prize as a bit of a test, so I shouted back 'I got pyjamas' then had to hang up to get on the plane - it would have sounded pretty weird to anyone who heard me yelling that as I ran through the airport."

Sam shouted his mates a few drinks in Wellington that night but said he wanted to be sensible with the money.

"I've set the rest of it aside to pay for my uni fees, so it's awesome knowing that they're all sorted," he said.

In 2014, another person bought a $3 scratchie from the same Relay airport shop and won $50,000. The store has sold more than 150,000 winning tickets, with the lucky punters sharing over $1.1 million in prizes.