Lotto: 'Completely oblivious' Morrinsville man had $5.5 million unchecked ticket in car for month until officials tracked him down

Lotto has tracked down the "completely oblivious" Waikato man who drove around for a month not realising he had a multi-million-dollar winning ticket in his glove box.

Since October 17, Lotto has been waiting for someone who purchased a ticket in Morrinsville to realise they had won $5.5 million. Despite several appeals, they never turned up to check their ticket.

Just over a month on, Lotto says its officials tracked the man down and told him that he had become a multi-millionaire without realising it. 

In a statement released on Friday, the anonymous man says his daughter had been "hounding" him to check the ticket, but he had never gotten around to it. 

"I never once thought I would be the lucky winner anyway - it's unbelievable!" he said.

The man said when the Lotto representatives approached him, he thought they were kidding. 

"They asked me if I had my ticket with me - which I did, so we checked off the numbers manually using the Lotto NZ App. All of them matched and the first thing the lady said was to write my name on the back," he said.

"That's when it hit me, and I thought to myself 'oh my God, this is life-changing'. Next time I'll listen to my daughter when she tells me to check my ticket!"

The man said it "still sounds weird" saying he won $5.5 million. The family visited Lotto headquarters in Auckland this week to claim the prize and celebrate.

"We've not made any big decisions yet, but we'd really like to pay off the mortgage first. After that I want to make sure my kids are set up for the future – those are the two biggest things."

Lotto's head of communications and CSR, Marie Winfield, said it was unusual for such a large prize to go unclaimed for weeks. 

"Powerball winners usually claim their prize within a few days of winning, so after a couple of weeks of waiting for them to come forward, we decided to try and track the winner down," she said.

"We were absolutely thrilled to be able to track the ticket to the lucky winner as there was a digital footprint that created a path and helped us to identify them. We are so pleased for the winner and his family."

The two officials who approached the man said the best thing about it was seeing his face, describing it as "absolutely priceless".