The Kiwi chosen to attend Stephen Hawking's service at Westminster Abbey

The ashes of physicist Stephen Hawking have been interred at Westminster Abbey in London.

Tickets to the service were allocated in a public ballot, and a Kiwi from Whakatane was lucky enough to score one.

Matt McKevitt, from Whakatane, was chosen from tens of thousands of people to attend. Mr McKevitt said he was a happy man and that it was fantastic.

"Really special thing to be part of. It's certainly something I'll remember for the rest of my life."

It was special too because of the company Prof Hawking joins, being laid to rest next to Kiwi Ernest Rutherford, who famously split the atom, and two famous Brits who revolutionised science - Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.

"On his gravestone he's got the equation he developed written on it, and I can't even begin to understand it," said Mr McKevitt.

A whopping 27,583 people from 117 countries entered the ballot, from which just 1000 tickets were given out.

There were of course VIP tickets. Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Prof Hawking in a BBC series, was there.

Dozens of other big names in science were there, including astronaut and Space Shuttle pilot Chris Hadfield, who just so happened to be in the line next to Mr McKevitt.

The service was not only broadcast around the world, but also into space and straight into a black hole.