Otago Lotto winners tell incredible story of winning $1m as Powerball skyrockets to $20m

An Otago couple says their lives changed in an instant after realising their winning Lotto ticket had won them $1 million - not the $1000 they first thought.

The anonymous couple checked their ticket on Friday night and saw they had won a prize. 

"We had family over at the time so I must have been distracted when I read the prize amount because I shouted out to everyone, 'We've just won $1000 with Lotto!' Everyone was thrilled, and we promptly celebrated with a bottle of wine," the woman says.

With the prize claimed and certain they had won $1000, the woman was surprised to get a call from Lotto NZ's winners' team the following week congratulating her on her win. 

"When I was chatting to the woman from Lotto NZ on the phone, I jumped back into my MyLotto account to double-check my ticket – and there were definitely a few more zeros looking back at me," she says.

"I read and re-read the amount, and sure enough, it was $1 million. I was so overcome with emotion in that moment, I burst into tears."

After the call, she waited nervously for her husband to come home so she could share the exciting news. 

"I'd barely got a foot in the door, when my wife said, 'I've made a big mistake', beckoning me over to our computer," he says.

"She had our winning MyLotto ticket up on the screen and asked me to take a look - and it very clearly said we'd won $1 million. After reading the number several times, I just looked at her in utter shock and disbelief.

"It's a bit of a joke between us now - neither of us can believe she missed the commas and completely misread where the decimal place was.

"We spent the whole weekend stoked we had won $1000, so to discover it's actually $1 million, well, it feels like the best bonus ever."

With their winnings now in their bank account, the couple plans to set themselves up for retirement.

"We've worked hard all our lives, so it didn't come as a surprise when my husband said the first thing he wanted to buy was a new pair of work boots," the woman says.

There is a massive $20 million up for grabs in Lotto Powerball this Wednesday after it rolled over last week.