A family in North Otago was definitely on Santa's nice list this year, winning an $18.25 million prize for Christmas.
The winning Powerball ticket, for the Boxing Day draw, was purchased at Waitaki New World in Oamaru, with the prize the second biggest given out in 2020.
The winners - who wish to remain anonymous - said they normally buy a Triple Dip ticket a few times a month, but treated themselves to tickets for the draws on both December 23 and 26.
"Our minds are still spinning," one of the winning family members said.
"We heard that the winning ticket had been bought at the Waitaki New World in Oamaru, which is where we always buy our tickets, but had to wait until we got home to check ours.
"I checked it and couldn't believe that we had all of the numbers. I must have checked it 10 more times."
Still not entirely convinced, the man said it wasn't until he scanned the ticket on the MyLotto app scanner and saw the words "Major Prize Winner" that he realised it wasn't a dream.
"I shouted out loudly 'it's us!'," another family member said.
"I told my children and everyone started crying. We just couldn't believe it."
The family said the win was "still sinking in".
"We have so many thoughts swirling around in our heads – it doesn't feel real yet."
Although the family had no specific plans yet on how they would spend the money, they did have some idea where it might go.
"It's very early days and we have a lot to think about – but what we do know is that we want to help people in need. Our goal is to make a difference in the lives of people who really need it – and a win like this allows us to do that," said the man.
"We also want to help our children and wider family, and at some stage will probably treat ourselves to a new car."
The biggest Lotto prize this year came in February, when two winners shared a massive $50 million between them.