A 70th birthday, a golden wedding anniversary and becoming Rotorua's first Bownus night winner have made November an exciting month for Tessa Lawrence.
The retired Otonga School teacher won $500 in vouchers for Sole Outlet, The Body Shop, Serious Fun, Pollards Men's Apparel and Rotorua Health 2000 by taking part in Rotorua's first shopping-after-five night on November 4.
"We had been away and didn't even know about the late shopping, but we will definitely be going back," she said. Mrs Lawerence had dropped some 1960 wedding photos into Gould Photographics to be put on to a disc ahead of a small, family dinner to celebrate her and husband Roger Lawrence's 50th wedding anniversary this coming weekend.
"I rang Goulds to ask what time they closed. They said it was a late night and they would be open until 8.30pm."
The Lawrences went into the city centre and Mrs Gould told them about the Bownus Night promotion. While there, they also visited other stores and the Rotorua Night Market and were most impressed.
"We bumped into some friends and went and had tea - it was a lovely evening."
The couple left for Wellington the next day to celebrate Mrs Lawrence's 70th birthday and did not think anything more about the promotion until Sunday evening, when she went online at her cousin's house in Wellington to register.
"I found out I had won the following Thursday when they did the draw on the radio and I got a call from [More FM's] Mike Baird."
Mrs Lawrence said she was planning to share her good fortune with her family, spending her Body Shop voucher on a gift basket for the cousin who helped her register.
The Pollards voucher will go on a new shirt for Mr Lawrence to wear to their anniversary dinner and she said her four grandchildren would benefit from the Serious Fun prize.
"I will also do some Christmas shopping. It's nice to share these things around."
Retailers participating in the Thursday Bownus Night promotion can be identified by the large green bow outside the store. A $500 prize is made each week. An Air NZ Holidays store mystery trip to Australia will be given away when the trial period finishes in February.