Christmas comes early for lucky Whakatāne couple who won $5.5 million in Lotto Powerball

Christmas is right around the corner and what better way to get in the holiday spirit than becoming an instant millionaire.

While it seems farfetched, for one lucky Whakatāne couple Christmas came early after they won $5.5 million with Powerball First Division in Saturday's live Lotto draw.

The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, are regular MyLotto players and much to their disbelief, became overnight millionaires.

"I've always dreamed of winning Powerball, who hasn't," the man told Lotto NZ. "I can tell you; those plans you have in your head on how you're going to spend it definitely get scrambled when you do actually win."

The man was on his laptop after the draw when he decided to log in to MyLotto and check his ticket.

"The virtual draw started, and I watched the numbers on my ticket circling until they all lined up including the Powerball. I thought to myself 'am I being trolled or is this really happening?"

The man shouted to his partner to come and check and that's when they both saw the huge prize amount at the top of their ticket.

"It's just out of this world," he said.

The couple said while they haven't had a chance to properly celebrate their win they had a small celebration that same night with a couple of drinks while they stared at the ticket on the laptop screen.

With their win claimed, and sleep evading them, the pair chatted long into the night about what to do with their win.

"We haven't had much sleep since finding out, so we've spent the last couple of nights talking about what we can achieve and ways we can help with this money… that's when I've managed to drag him away from online shopping," laughed the woman.

The couple said a holiday is definitely on the cards after their huge win.

"This is truly life-changing for us, and we just know we have to use this money to help others too," the man said. "We're grateful for this opportunity and we're going to make the most of it."

This is the 18th Powerball First Division winner of 2022. It follows a New Plymouth man who won $24 million on November 26.