A young woman from Taranaki has officially claimed Wednesday's $22.3 million Lotto Powerball jackpot, revealing family is foremost on her mind for spending it.
"The first thing I want to buy is a house for my brother and I also want to share it with family," she said.
While the woman wished to remain anonymous, she was happy to describe the circumstances around discovering the multimillion-dollar ticket - at home while watching a movie.
"I was tucked up in bed early on Wednesday night watching a movie on my laptop, when all of a sudden a family member rushed into my bedroom," the Inglewood woman said.
With news of the local win well known among the Inglewood community, the family member knew the woman had recently bought a Lotto ticket and urged her to check it.
"I grabbed my ticket off the dresser and handed it to him to check. He pulled up the results on MyLotto then glanced at the screen and said 'you're the winner!'
"I didn't believe him as he's a bit of a practical joker, so I replied 'Am I really?' That's when he said 'Nah – I haven't even checked the ticket yet'. He's always pulling my leg like that!" laughed the woman.
The family member then proceeded to check the ticket – and discovered that the woman was in fact Lotto's latest multi-millionaire.
"When he turned and told me I'd won, I knew he wasn't joking this time. His face had completely changed and he even had tears in his eyes — and he never cries," she said.
"We both stood there completely stunned and then gave each other a big hug — it was such an 'Oh my God, is this really happening to me' moment."
The winner rushed over to another family member's house to celebrate the news.
"As soon as I walked in the door, they guessed what had happened straight away. I think they could just tell on my face that I was in a bit of a shock," the woman said.
After celebrating the win with a few drinks with family in the backyard, the winner kept her ticket locked away until visiting Lotto HQ in Auckland today to claim her prize.
"Honestly, it's been a bit of whirlwind — it definitely hasn't sunk in yet," the woman said.
"I'm just going to take my time to let everything settle – I've got my whole life ahead of me and this is a wonderful opportunity.
"The main thing that's been on my mind is who I am going to help with this win, how many lives I can change — especially my family. Everything else has been secondary. I can't wait to share this win around," the woman said.
The ticket was sold at the Inglewood Book Centre store, Inglewood, in Taranaki for the Lotto draw on Wednesday, January 2.
The woman's winning ticket totalled a cool $22,333,333.
The prize is made up of $22m from Powerball's first division and $333,333 from first division.
Inglewood Book Centre shopkeeper Lorraine Reeve, who sold the ticket, had previously said they hoped the winner was someone from the region.
"It would be nice for it to be a local. At the moment there's a lot of tourists and visitors coming through," Reeve said.
"[It] took my breath away. It was really exciting; very, very exciting. Let's just say we didn't sleep much last night."
Reeve said customers had been talking about the win all morning, "and it's surprised a few people".
"They have come in checking their tickets and they didn't actually know we'd sold the winning one, so that's even quite exciting, too."