Auckland man 'cried for three hours' after winning $23.5m Lotto draw

The Auckland couple who won $23.5 million in Lotto's Wednesday draw "still can't believe" they have won the massive prize.

In a statement on Friday, Lotto said the husband had bought the ticket at Countdown City Centre with some leftover change.

"I thought I might as well buy a ticket because of the high jackpot. I only buy one if the jackpot is over $20 million," the man told Lotto.

While watching the Lotto draw on Wednesday, he joked about winning and how he and his wife would split the money.

The man didn't know he had won the massive prize until Thursday when he checked his ticket after buying some groceries.

"I handed my ticket to the Lotto operator, and it came up with 'Major Prize'. I thought, 'What's that, about $1000?' But the Lotto operator told me that the $23.5 million ticket had been sold there and I jokingly said, 'Well, it could be me!'" he said.

After it was confirmed he had won the multi-million-dollar prize, the man called his wife who thought he was pulling her leg.

"He's always kidding," she told Lotto. Then he started crying on the phone to her.

"I cried for three hours," the man told Lotto.

He also called his son who didn't believe his dad at first and said "dad, are you sure it is $23 million? Not just $23?"

Lotto said the couple haven't celebrated the win properly as they are still processing it but are looking at all the things on their watch list.