Lotto: The lucky holidaymaker who is $16.5 million richer

One Auckland family is now $16.5 million richer.
One Auckland family is now $16.5 million richer. Photo credit: Lotto NZ/supplied.

On the way home from holiday, an Auckland man made the casual decision to stop by Wellsford's "lucky Lotto shop" - it was this decision that landed the lucky holidaymaker a life-changing $16.5 million in Saturday's Powerball draw.

The winner, who wishes to remain anonymous, popped by Woodys Winners to grab his Lotto ticket after a quick dinner stop in Wellsford. 

"The store is quite well-known for being lucky, so whenever I'm driving past I try to stop in," he says.

On Saturday night the man saw on Facebook that the Powerball winner had purchased their ticket at Woodys Winners. Grabbing his ticket from the car, the man ticked off the numbers one by one.

Hit with a rush of adrenaline, the man ran to his partner.

"I thought something bad had happened - he was shaking and wasn't making sense at all," said his partner.

"He finally managed to get the words out, 'We've won! We've won Powerball!'" 

The man's life-changing luck was celebrated with a family roast on Sunday after a night of no sleep.

"Every few hours, I would pat my pocket to make sure the ticket was still there," he laughed.

On Monday the man and his family claimed the prize at Lotto's Auckland head office. With the $16.5 million windfall safely in his bank account, the man is now pondering how best to spend his prize.

"We're going to buy our first house together," he says.

"We're going to put some money aside for the kids and grandkids to make sure they are set up for years to come."

The happy couple have their wedding coming up this summer, but don't plan to make any extravagant changes - aside from an upgraded engagement ring.

This is the eleventh time Powerball First Division has been hit this year.