A group of 16 Tauranga workmates have been left buzzing after winning $500,000 in Saturday's Lotto draw.
The winning ticket was sold at Paper Plus Mount Maunganui In Tauranga for Lotto First Division on Saturday.
The syndicate organiser, who wanted to stay anonymous, had been buying Lotto tickets with his colleagues for almost three years before the big win.
Every week he would go down to the local Lotto shop with one of his colleagues, check the group's tickets, and buy the new ones.
"When we headed down to the Lotto shop this week we had a couple of tickets to check – the first one actually won $81, so we were feeling pretty happy with that," he said.
The next ticket saw them take home an even bigger win.
"The Lotto operator congratulated us and said we'd won half a million dollars with Lotto First Division. I just couldn't believe it, my hands started shaking straight away," he laughed.
Still buzzing, the pair hatched a plan to share the news with the rest of the group.
"When we got back to work I secretly printed out an A3 copy of the claim receipt with $500,000 written on it, then called a meeting for the syndicate members," he said.
Everyone gathered in the board room he opened the meeting by going over the rules as there were a few people who had just joined the syndicate recently.
A few people had gone very quiet and he could tell that they had started to click.
He then unfolded the A3 paper in the middle of the table and said, "oh – and we've just won $500,000".
"The room just erupted with joy, everyone went nuts. There were plenty of hugs and high fives in the board room that day," he said.
That evening after work the sixteen workmates celebrated over beers and chatted about how they planned to spend their share of the winnings.
"With 16 people in the group there are lots of big life milestones coming up – one person has a baby on the way, another is getting married soon, just to name a few.
"This win is going to make a real difference to so many people – being able to share this win with my workmates is incredibly special. It's just awesome."
There have been several major Lotto NZ prizes won by syndicates including a group of 10 women who won $30 million with Powerball First Division in 2017 on a ticket bought in Taupo.
A Te Kuiti work syndicate picked up a $1 million Lotto First Division prize that same year.