The organiser of a syndicate of 12 Auckland healthcare workers who won Lotto says her workmates didn't initially believe they had scored big.
The group took home $1 million with Lotto First Division after its organiser purchased a ticket at Four Square Red Beach in Hibiscus Coast, Auckland for the November 13 draw.
But the group members didn't initially realise how lucky that ticket was.
"I was driving to work on the Monday morning when I heard on the radio that the Lotto store I bought our ticket from had sold a big winning ticket," the syndicate organiser says. "It was pretty exciting to hear, so I thought I better tell the team."
She pulled over to send a message to her co-workers, who replied back "funny messages about how we have to be in to win, but not to get our hopes up". The organiser decided to head to a Lotto store just to check.
"Even though I knew we'd bought our ticket at the winning store I didn't seriously think we'd be the winners – so when the lady at the shop told me we'd won $1 million I just froze with shock. I had no idea what to do!"
When she got to work, she pulled each of her colleagues aside to tell them about their winnings.
"But none of them believed me! It took a fair amount of time to convince them it was true – luckily, I had photos of the winning ticket which helped a bit."
The group has been playing Lotto together for about five years and remain in disbelief about their win.
"This couldn't have come at a better time, with work so busy with COVID at the moment – this really is an uplift that none of us could've ever imagined!" the organiser says.
"It's the perfect amount to win for a group our size – once the winnings are divided up between us, it will really make a difference for so many people."