By Thomas Mead
Southland’s $20.5 million lotto prize has been claimed this morning by a South Island man.
Lotto Representative Karen Jones said the winner was “stunned”.
“They’re obviously a little concerned about their privacy, so all we can say at this stage is that they are a South Island man,” she said.
“We’re delighted they’ve come forward.”
The winner was yet to officially claim the money, but had been in touch.
Betty Sinclair, who owns the Invercargill Windsor Stationery and Lotto store where the ticket was purchased, said it had been “an exciting week for the whole Southland”.
She had been run off her feet with customers.
“There [were] people everywhere wondering if they’re the big winner, it’s just wonderful,” she said.
“You see a customer come in and you think, ‘is this it, is this it?’.”
Ms Sinclair had some advice for the winning ticketholder:
“Think very carefully about what they do, read the information from the Lotteries Commission,” she said.
The prize is the biggest ever won in the South Island and the sixth largest won in New Zealand.