One of the two $500,000 Lotto winners in Saturday's night draw says he was so excited he was ready to rush down to the Lotto store to redeem his ticket in his "boxer shorts".
Two punters from Mount Maunganui and Waihi have extra reasons to celebrate New Year's 2019 after each winning $500,000 in Lotto's first division prize draw.
The winners, who did not want to be named, in a written statement described their feelings of euphoria on learning of their wins and sharing the news with family members.
The first $500,000 winner described himself as "a family man" and said he and his wife were "Mount Maunganui locals".
The man said he had to check the results several times before it sunk in.
"I checked my ticket on the Lotto NZ App on Sunday morning, and it came up with the message 'major prize winner'. I didn't know what that meant, so I jumped straight on MyLotto to check the results.
"At first I thought I had won $40,000, but then I saw that I actually had six numbers so had won $500,000 — it was like my whole body went numb.
"I rushed straight into the bedroom where my wife was sleeping and woke her up, then told her, 'I think we've won Lotto'."
The man said he got his wife to read out the numbers while he double-checked the ticket.
"I was so excited I didn't know what to do with myself. My wife had to calm me down; I was ready to rush down to the Lotto store in my boxer shorts," he said.
The man said on realising how much he and his wife had won, he decided to put his wallet containing the ticket on top of a dresser to prevent it from getting damaged.
"We feel completely grateful and incredibly blessed to receive this opportunity. The win will allow us to move into the next stage of our life with our family, and we couldn't be happier," he said.
The man said they shared the windfall news with their parents straight away.
"We went over to my wife's parents' house and asked them if they had bought a Lotto ticket for the draw. When they said 'no', we just handed them our claim receipt which showed them how much we'd won.
"It was really fun watching their reaction. There was this big delay until they realised what was going on, followed by squeals of joy. Everyone we've told so far — family and friends — have just been so happy for us," he said.
The man said he had not played Lotto in a while.
"My wife had asked me to go get milk at the dairy, and I decided to grab a ticket while I was there. The first thing she knew about the ticket, was when I rushed into our bedroom on Sunday morning to deliver the good news."
A Waihi man is also $500,000 richer after playing Lotto for years.
The punter said the moment he learned of the win was "unreal".
"I was playing on the computer on Saturday night when I remembered to check my ticket, so pulled up the results.
"When I saw I had all six numbers ... well, the feeling was just unreal. I asked a family member to come and check the ticket for me — he was just as excited as I was.
"I normally keep my Lotto tickets on the computer desk, but after I found out I won, I popped it straight in my wallet and put the wallet under my pillow.
The next morning after checking it was still under his pillow, the man took the ticket down to the Lotto shop to claim his prize, he said.
"This win couldn't have come at a better time. My car has seen better days, so a new car is the first thing on the to-do list — it will be a belated Christmas gift to myself.
"So far, I've just told the family member who was at home at the time. I'm going to keep it pretty quiet but will share the news with my immediate family," he said.