Manawatu Lotto winners want to use $13.2m prize money to help others during COVID-19 pandemic

Manawatu Lotto winners want to use $13.2m prize money to help others during COVID-19 pandemic
Photo credit: Lotto NZ

The Manawatu couple who won a staggering $13.2 million with Lotto's Powerball on Saturday plan to help others that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The couple, who wish to stay anonymous, says it's been a "stressful" time for some people and they're lucky to now be in a position to help.

"Lots of people are going through a hard time at the moment, it's stressful for people and for the organisations who are trying to help them," they say.

"We're very aware of that and we feel so fortunate that we're now in a position to help."

They're currently unsure what that help looks like, but they know there's plenty of time "to think it through" while they're in lockdown.

The regular Lotto players purchased their tickets online since kiosks are closed during alert level 4.

After Saturday's draw, they checked the website and saw Powerball had been won in the Manawatu-Whanganui region. But since it's a "pretty big place" they never thought they'd be the winners, but they checked their tickets anyway.

"There was no prize on my partner's ticket, but when we logged in to check mine, all of the numbers circled, followed by a big number at the top of the ticket," the man says.

He initially thought he'd won $13,000, but then realised his prize money was higher than that.

"I was wondering if I had made a mistake - one of us had to be wrong."

They say it's an incredible feeling to win the prize money and they look forward to celebrating with friends and family once the lockdown lifts.

Their win is the fourth Powerball win in 2020. Two Auckland players each won $25.1 million in February, and a Christchurch resident won $7.5 million in March.