Tauranga Powerball winner Lou Te Keeti's No 1 piece of advice for any wannabe Lotto winner is "buy a ticket" - he is going to buy one for tonight's $30m Lotto draw, but he is not going to tell the wife.

Before the 70-year-old kaumatua scooped $10.3m in the Lotto Powerball on July 8, his wife, Val, used to tell him he was "wasting his money" buying a ticket every week.

"But I used to tell her, 'You have to be in it to win it'. And I was proved right. I don't like to rub that in with her, but let's just say every now and then I might mention it every now and again."

Mr Te Keeti said his wife was appalled this week when he told her he was going to buy a ticket for Wednesday's Lotto draw.


"She said, 'Lou, don't be greedy, we have had our turn, you give someone else a chance."

"And she told me 'Don't be stupid either, it is not like you are going to win again.'"

If he did win again, Mr Te Keeti says this time he wouldn't even tell his wife.

"I probably wouldn't even tell the wife, as it is just life as usual for her. The money makes no difference to her, she is not the sort of woman who wants this or that or fancy stuff."

Mr Te Keeti, 70, says life is still "hectic" after the win. He has spent around $2m of his winnings and lost around 10kg in weight since the win.

He and the whanau - he has four children and seven mokopuna - have not splashed out,

"I've sorted out the kids and the grandkids so they will always be comfortable, but the kids are sensible. I spoke to my son in Australia this week, he is still working hard and that makes me proud. I don't think they will use the money for frivolous things. With the grandkids I am trying to get them to learn how to use it wisely to make money and focus on philanthropy."

 Lou Te Keeti with some of the spoils of his $10m win, a Suzuki Swift. Photo/John Borren
Lou Te Keeti with some of the spoils of his $10m win, a Suzuki Swift. Photo/John Borren

He is still in his old gumboots, but he has splashed out recently on a new car, buying the latest sporty Suzuki Swift a few weeks ago,


"It is not a Ferrari, but what would I want with a Ferrari? Val would have none of that. She told me it had to be a family car. I am always running around so this one is a little workhorse. It is only 1000cc but its RS ... a little bit sporty. It's sporty for me anyway."

He said there was some whispering in the local car yard when he was looking,

"I think they knew I was 'the Lotto winner' but the salesman was very good. He didn't try to talk me into buying a flash car - that's not me.

On a whim, he also bought a car for his wife, a red latest model Ford Focus but she was not impressed,

"It sat in the driveway for two weeks. I said 'Aren't you going to drive your car?' She would sit in it but not even turn the engine on and would go off in her old manual car.

"Eventually she told me she didn't like it - it had too many 'bells and whistles' that she didn't want to bother with. She likes to turn things on manually she says, not press a screen."

Mr Te Keeti took the car back and traded it in for a gold-coloured Swift.

"But then still she made me go and get a warrant on her old manual. Luckily it passed. So she is still driving that."

He has also bought two more mares to breed racehorses, a passion which he says the couple share. The couple now own five mares, two of which are currently at Cambridge stud farms "looking for suitors".

"They even gave me a new cap at the stud farm,"

The couple will soon move from their home ready for renovations to take place. Local architects Stufkens and Chambers have drawn up preliminary drawings for their new house.

I think they knew I was 'the Lotto winner' but the salesman was very good, he didn't try to talk me into buying a flash car, that's not me.

"When it is done I think that is where Val will enjoy doing the interiors of the home. But she will still want all our history, all her ornaments and photos."

The road to the urupa cemetery is almost complete, and Mr Te Keeti will continue looking after Wairoa Marae where he is kaitiaki (guardian). It is business as usual at the marae and this week it has been hosting children and families visiting the city for the Aims Games.

He has been watching the election closely, and attended Gareth Morgan's recent meeting in Tauranga at Tauranga Boys' College but is not certain the TOP party will get to the 5 per cent threshold.

"It seems to be between Labour and National. If you had asked me before my win I would have erred on the socialist side but now I am more likely to side with National ... it is about wanting to protect the future for your whanau. I wouldn't say I had it hard as some people before my win, but I wouldn't want the mokopuna to struggle through life. But what I do feel strongly politically is that we need more redistribution of wealth. I don't think you can solve all the big issues like housing and homelessness without looking at this."

With the whanau and hapu looked after, and money given to charities - Mr Te Keeti gave $300,000 to three local charities soon after his win - Mr Te Keeti said he is now turning his focus to his plan for the next five to 10 years,

"I sat down the other day and said to Val that I only have five to 10 years left so we need to plan how we are going to spend it."

She said, "Why are you talking like that?'"

"I told her I had been looking back at my whakapapa at what age the males passed, and most of them it was around the mid-70s, but I am trying to eat healthily so maybe I can make it to 80."

"She told me not to be silly and that she wasn't going to spend the next five years living any differently than the last 50 years.

The couple celebrates their 50th wedding anniversary next year.

As for the big draw tomorrow, despite what his wife thinks, Lou Te Keeti says he does not think it is stupid to buy a ticket: "You just never know what can happen."

Lou's tips for winning $30m


Buy a ticket. So many people - including my wife - say Lotto is a waste of money. But you can't win if you don't try.


Say a little prayer and be sincere about it. Be specific. Don't just say 'Oh please let me win', but think about what you would do. When I said my prayers before I won, I promised that I would give it to these three charities and I did.


Be charitable. Let others who need it share in your win, so that the money can do good things in the community.


Help loved ones but don't spoil them. I want my mokopuna to respect others and value people rather than things, and that being charitable is more important than having fancy things that you don't really need.


Delete unknown or unwarranted solicitations and be resolute about it.