A Northland Lotto winner didn't believe his wife when she told him they were $8.3 million richer, so he went straight to bed.

Winning the huge Powerball prize - the second largest ever won by a Northland resident - had been surreal, the man's partner, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Herald.

"At first, we didn't think it was real. It wasn't until we got a phone call from Lotto NZ head office the next day and confirmed we'd won, that it hit me. It was a very surreal experience."

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The couple knew the big prize had gone to someone in the region but thought it had been claimed already, so hadn't bothered to check their ticket, which they bought online.

The wife, who bought the winning ticket online, had no idea she logged onto the My Lotto app last night after her daughter called and told her the prize had yet to be claimed.

"When she mentioned that my ears pricked up straight away and I thought I better check mine, there was still hope," she said.

"After we finished chatting I sat down and opened the Lotto NZ App on my phone. My ticket popped up straight away and all of sudden a whole lot of numbers started being circled! Around and around they went, until all of them lined up in a row."

Still in disbelief, the woman called her husband over and showed him.

"I really thought I must be seeing things and when my husband looked at the ticket didn't believe it either. We just couldn't get our heads around it."

Still unsure whether the win was real, the winner filled in the online paperwork and went to bed.

The win only sunk in after a staff member from Lotto NZ's head office called her this morning.

"When the lady on the other end said that she was calling from Lotto, the reality of it all hit me – I wasn't dreaming! It was a huge rush of emotion," the woman said.

Calling their kids to tell them the news had been quite emotional and a few tears had been shed.

"It was a very special moment. They just kept saying to us 'you've worked so hard, you deserve this'," said the winner.

She said they didn't have any plans to make immediate changes to their lifestyle.

"The win is still very fresh. We love what we do [for work], so there will be no changes there. This win does mean we can tick a few things off the bucket list and help out our loved ones.

"We want to make sure our kids and grandkids are all taken care of – that's the most important thing. We plan on taking them out on celebratory dinner in the next couple of weeks to kick things off."

A family holiday to the islands could also be on the cards, the winner said.