Christchurch couple who won massive $33.5 million in Lotto were 'overwhelmed', kept ticket in sock draw

"I'd keep things cool during the day but then come home and cry."
"I'd keep things cool during the day but then come home and cry." Photo credit: Image - Supplied

The Christchurch couple who won a massive $33.5 million in Lotto's Powerball says they were "overwhelmed" and kept the winning ticket in a sock draw.

The couple, whose identity will remain secret, claimed their winnings more than a week after the draw.

The woman said she and her partner were "overwhelmed by the magnitude of the win" and needed some time to process it before coming forward.

It was a busy Wednesday night and the woman said she was doing chores. It wasn't until later in the evening that she decided to check her ticket.

"Then I thought I may as well check my ticket before I went to bed."

The woman looked up the number online and began checking each line of her ticket.

"The winning line was right at the bottom, and the numbers just sort of jumped out at me, all of them," the woman said. "I couldn't breathe at first - I was almost hyperventilating."

The woman's husband had already gone to bed, so she woke him up and asked, 'Can you please check this for me? These numbers are dancing on the paper. Is it actually real?'".

Though the man had just been woken up, he still managed to confirm "it was very real".

"It was hard to get back to sleep after that!" he said.

The couple wanted to "keep things normal" while they thought out their next steps, so were in no rush to claim their prize the next day, or even the next week.

But leaving it that long didn't go without its challenges.

"I'd keep things cool during the day but then come home and cry, tears of happiness, of course, but it was also a lot to take in," the woman said.

The couple said they kept their $33.5 million yellow ticket hidden in a sock draw, which was "nerve-wracking" knowing the amount of money that was sitting there.

"I kept thinking, 'Goodness, I better make sure the iron is turned off' every time I went out!" said the woman.

Now they've claimed their prize, the couple is looking forward to their future.

"This will help us set up our family for generations to come. It is also enough for us to help community causes we care about over the long term and make a lasting difference - and that is what we are focused on," the man said.