Lotto: How a chocolate bar craving turned into a $37m win for Powerball mega prize winners

This article was first published in August 2023.

A simple chocolate bar craving and a trip down to the local supermarket has resulted in a Paraparaumu couple having their lives changed, winning $37.125 million with Lotto Powerball.

The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, are occasional players who tend only to purchase a ticket when the jackpot is over $30 million.

The couple revealed to Lotto NZ they only bought the winning ticket on a whim.

"I was on my way home after work and was craving a chocolate bar, so I quickly popped into the supermarket," the woman said.

"While I was there, I noticed the high jackpot and thought I'd grab a Lucky Dip at the same time."

With her chocolate bar and yellow ticket in hand, the woman headed home but little did she know her life was about to be turned upside down hours later with a dramatic wake-up call from her husband.

"I was still up and scrolling online - trying to catch some footage of the women's World Cup," the man said.

"I came across a news item about the jackpot being struck in Kāpiti, along with a list of the winning numbers. So, I grabbed our ticket and began matching our numbers against the winning ones. It slowly dawned on me that one of our lines seemed to have all the winning numbers - including the Powerball. I couldn't believe it!"

The man said it was well past 10pm at night and he was in such a rush to show his wife the winning ticket he stumbled down the hall in the dark to wake her up.

The woman was awoken by her husband's frantic shouts.

"Looking at the state of him, I thought, 'Is this good news or bad news?'" she laughed.

Once she realised they were New Zealand's latest multi-millionaires, the woman "burst into tears".

The couple barely slept a wink that evening, while the following day was just as surreal.

"We were both at work the next day," the man said. "I had a lot of meetings, but it was easy to get through them knowing I had this winning ticket!"

"Our children were just as emotional when we told them the next day," the woman said. "They were non-stop crying and so happy for us."

With their win safely claimed, the couple are excited about the future and the opportunities this will provide them.

"We're over the moon," the man said. "This will be a big help for all our family. It means less pressure and more opportunities to do the things we've always wanted.

"There are so many people and causes close to our hearts we'd like to support - and this is the most important thing for us."

The winning ticket was the tenth Powerball First Division winner of 2023 and the third-highest Lotto and Powerball prize won in history by a single ticket.

The $37.125 million Powerball prize is made up of $37 million from Powerball First Division and $125,000 from Lotto First Division.

'Very, very exciting'

The winning Powerball ticket was sold at New World Kāpiti in Paraparaumu for the draw on Wednesday last week.

Paraparaumu is known for its beautiful beaches and quiet streets, but last week the town was abuzz with news it was home to New Zealand's newest multi-millionaire.

New World Kāpiti owner-operator Ali Young and her husband Clayton got the call from Lotto on Wednesday night.

"It's very, very exciting," Ali said proudly.

"First thing my husband did when he got off the phone was check our ticket, unfortunately not the lucky one," she said.

"Just knowing that we've sold it to someone here and knowing that one of our team members was actually the person who printed out that ticket. It's great for the team, we've all been buzzing."