Man Wins $14.5M Jackpot. Immediately 'Spends' Half of Winnings


No one really expects to win the jackpot after buying a lottery ticket, but crossing your fingers and hoping is all part of the fun.

That’s why when a New Zealand man purchased a powerball ticket, he put off checking it.

“I thought when I checked my ticket, I’d find out for sure it wasn’t me,” he told the New Zealand Herald. “And it was fun to dream for a while.”

After the drawing, people excitedly checked their numbers but the winner kept his tucked away in his wallet. Soon, it was announced that there was a winner but none came forward.

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“It’s been all that anyone has been talking about around here,” he said. “Like everyone else in Christchurch, friends have been asking me if I had a Lotto ticket — and then asking me why I hadn’t checked it yet.”

Finally, he found out that the winning ticket was sold at the same store that he went to and was finally convinced to check it mid-week. He handed the ticket over to the clerk and to his surprise, the winning music started playing and the words “First Division winner” appeared on the screen.

“The Lotto lady handed me a piece of paper that said ‘$20.2 million’ on it,” he said.

“You think you know how you’re going to react when you get news like that, but to be honest all I felt was this huge sense of relief. My first thought was ‘yay, I can retire now.'”

Immediately, the man drove over to his wife to share the good news. Shocked, all she could say was “you’ve got to be kidding me, right?”

“There a few tears and a couple hugs, but we had to hold it together as she had to go back to work. I don’t think she got much done that day,” he joked.

Being given that kind of money could drive anyone to go on a crazy shopping spree but this winner, who is in his 50s, decided to give half of it away instead.

Soon, family members were called and by the end of it, over 10 million NZD (about 7 million USD) was handed to various family members and close friends.

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“Family is the most important thing and we are so excited to be able to share our luck with the people we love most — and know that it’s not just our life that has changed,” he said.

He’ll still be able to comfortably retire on half his winnings.

Meanwhile, some more money will go towards taking his family on vacations.

But giving the money away served a selfish purposed too — “by giving half away, there’s no chance I’ll go crazy with my winnings … It’ll keep me on an even keel,” the man said.

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