A Mount Maunganui woman carried a $1 million winning Lotto ticket in her purse for nearly a week with no idea of its worth.

The winner, who wished to stay anonymous, came forward on Thursday.

She bought the ticket from Bayfair Lotto on a whim after a coffee date with a friend last Saturday.

"I thought I might as well pick up a ticket and try my luck. I put the ticket in my wallet and kind of forgot about it."


The next week she read in the news that a $1 million prize had been won in Mount Maunganui but "didn't think anything of it".

"I just thought 'lucky them – I hope that'll be me one day' and carried on reading."

She was out buying groceries in Tauranga on Thursday when she remembered to check the ticket in her wallet.

"I handed my ticket to the woman behind the counter and when she scanned it, she quietly said 'come with me' and led me into the back room.

"I was so nervous and wasn't too sure what was happening. That's when the lady turned to me and said 'congratulations! You've won a million dollars'. I honestly couldn't believe what my ears were hearing," said the winner.

Unable to comprehend the news, she called her daughter and had her come to the store to meet her.

"I showed her the ticket and she looked at me and said 'congrats Mum, you're a millionaire'.

"We both burst into tears and just stood there hugging each other."

The ticket was the sole first division winner in the July 7 draw.

The winner, who celebrated with a bottle of bubbles, said she was feeling "blessed beyond belief".

"Nothing like this has ever happened to me or my family before – it's going to be a tremendous help.

"The win won't change who we are, but it's going to help us make some really special memories with our family and friends. We're not sure what we'll do just yet, but think some travelling will definitely be in the cards."

Bayfair Lotto manager Tracy Stent said she was "so thrilled" the winner had come forward, and that it was a local.

"All week people have been coming in to congratulate us on selling the winning ticket and asking if it's been claimed.

"The next comment is always 'we hope it's a local'.

"Our customers will be so thrilled. Good on her."

The win came almost exactly one year after 71-year-old Tauranga kaumatua Lou Te Keeti scooped $10.3 million in the July 8, 2017 Powerball draw with a ticket bought at Pak'n'Save.

So far he has spent $5.8 million of his windfall, much of that on racehorses.

Advice from a winner

Tauranga kaumatua Lou Te Keeti won $10.3 million last year. These are his tips for winning and what to do if you win:

1. Buy a ticket. You can't win if you don't try.
2. Say a little prayer and be sincere about it. Be specific. Think about what you would do.
3. Be charitable. Let others who need it share in your win.
4. Help loved ones but don't spoil them.
5. Delete unknown or unwarranted solicitations and be resolute about it.