Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New Zealand Lotto Winner's Charitable Intentions

A New Zealand Powerball winner from Christchurch is donating some of his $5 million winnings to the charities that offered him assistance during the earthquakes.

The winner scooped his big win in the March 1, drawing with a ticket he purchased from the Redwood Mini Market, but he'd been walking about with the winning ticket in pocket for over a week before he checked it.

The winner has chosen to remain anonymous but he told New Zealand Lottery officials he was aware the prize had not been claimed, but never dreamed he was the lucky winner.

"I thought to myself 'yeah, it would be good to win Lotto'", he said. "But of course, I didn't really think it was me."

When eventually checked his ticket and the machine said he was a major prize winner he said the feeling was 'incredible'.

New Zealand's new millionaire has never owned his own home and hasn't had a car in years, so both those things are near the top of his list, but the charities that helped him out during the quakes have never been far from his mind.

"I'd also like to give some money to the Salvation Army and some of the other groups that really helped me out during the earthquake," he said.

The total prize in the March 1, drawing consisted of $4 million from the New Zealand Powerball first division and $1 million from the Lotto first division.

New Zealand Powerball drawings are held on Saturdays at 20:00. The biggest prize to date was won in the draw held on September 28, 2013, after 15 rollovers pushed the jackpot up to $33 million.