Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New Zealand Powerball Winner Claims his Prize

A man from Auckland came forward on Monday to claim Saturday's $26.2 million New Zealand Powerball jackpot prize and admitted he had enjoyed all the speculation about the identity of the winning ticket holder.

"It was quite fun reading about the search for the winner in the paper each morning knowing all the while that I had the winning ticket in my back pocket," he said.

The identity of the winner has not been revealed, but the man told lottery officials he knew he would win because he had a good feeling when he purchased his ticket, so he made sure to watch the drawing on Saturday night.

"I actually felt it as soon as I took hold of the ticket, so I made sure to watch," he said.

The winner bought his ticket from the Willy Wonka store near the Auckland water front. Speaking at the weekend, store owner, Nilesh Shaw, told the press he'd had a premonition he was going to sell a winning ticket, so maybe there was a little magic in the store that day.

Although the winner already knew he was onto a winner as soon as he picked his numbers he claims it was still an emotional experience as he watched them coming out of the machine.

The numbers came out and I had them all, and I thought 'Ok, I just need to get the number six now'. So when the Powerball came out, I let out the biggest yell—and some obscenities too, if I'm honest," he said.

Auckland's newest millionaire, and sixth biggest New Zealand Lottery winner to date, now intends to help out his family and friends and is already planning on escaping the New Zealand winter by taking a vacation to somewhere warm.