He won $20 million in Lotto this year but still cannot bring himself to splash out on first class flights.

The Christchurch man, who wanted to be known as Sparkie, is one of 41 Kiwis who have become overnight Lotto millionaires so far this year.

Of those, 14 won the Powerball jackpot prize. The biggest Powerball to date, this year, was won by a young man from Central Otago who walked away with $22.3 million in August.

The latest winner, last Saturday, bought their ticket at Fitzroy Lotto & Mags in New Plymouth and won $12.5 million.


For those wondering which Powerball number to pick, the number two has been drawn 142 times this year.

But it might not necessarily be the luckiest, with the number seven ball creating the most Powerball winners to date - six people in total.

Lucky number 7 proved to be the magic number for the Christchurch man, who picked it for all the lines on his winning ticket. He told the Weekend Herald he has had a "pretty incredible'' year since winning $20.2m in February.

It had been a completely life-changing experience, he said. His family now referred to life as LBL (life before Lotto) and LAL (life after Lotto).

Sparkie bought his ticket from Hornby Mall Lotto on a whim.

"I had some cash in my pocket and was walking past the Lotto store, so I thought I'd grab a ticket.''

The family shared a lot of the winnings with loved ones - paying off mortgages or buying them new homes altogether, which he said had brought him a lot of joy.

Must be nice: What major Lotto winners are met with in the Winner's Room in Auckland. Photo / Supplied
Must be nice: What major Lotto winners are met with in the Winner's Room in Auckland. Photo / Supplied

Other purchases included a vintage car and flying business class.


"I did look into the cost of flying first class, but I couldn't bring myself to do it - you could buy five flights for the same price.

"I guess I still have an old school mentality when it comes to things like that.''

Although he is not working now, he continues to do volunteer work - something he has always loved.

"There have been many highs since winning. So many woohoo moments," he said.

"It's one of those things everyone dreams about. I'd rehearsed in my mind so many times, over the years, what I'd do if I won and I had a fair idea of what I wanted to do.

"I knew that I wanted to share most of it and invest some of it, which is exactly what I've done."

The overnight multi-millionaire had some sound advice for anyone who might suddenly find themselves in his shoes.

"Take your time before making any big decisions. Get some financial advice and keep your head down.''

The recent $12.5m win in New Plymouth was claimed last week by a Taranaki-based family syndicate.

The sydnicate had been regular Lotto ticket-buyers for several years.

The family revealed they kept the winning ticket in a safe until they claimed it at Lotto's headquarters in Auckland six days after the draw.

"This win is an amazing gift and we want to make the most of it," the family said in a statement. "It's an incredible feeling knowing that our children and grandchildren won't have to count everypenny.

"We feel incredibly, incredibly lucky."


• 41 Kiwis have become overnight millionaires
• 72 per cent of winners scooped a big prize with a Dip ticket
• 2 people won $1m with a bonus ticket
• no.7 has created the most Powerball millionaires this year - six people
• $22.3m is the biggest Powerball prize, to date
• 32 per cent of winners bought a new house