“I couldn’t breathe at first, I was almost hyperventilating” Christchurch couple kept $33.5 million Lotto ticket hidden in a sock draw before claiming

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jul 09, 2023 |

A Christchurch couple are now celebrating a massive $33.5 million Powerball prize, with the winners finally claiming their prize more than a week after the draw.

The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, were “overwhelmed by the magnitude of the win,” the woman said, and needed time to process it before coming forward.

The couple are occasional Lotto players and bought a Powerball Dip the week before the $33 million draw.

The woman had been busy doing chores on the Wednesday night, and so it wasn’t until quite late that she decided to check her ticket.

“I had been busy doing a few things, and then I thought I may as well check my ticket before I went to bed. I looked the numbers up online and started checking each line of the 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.”

“My husband had already gone to bed so I woke him up and said, ‘Can you please check this for me? These numbers are dancing on the paper. Is it actually real?’”

Despite being “in a daze” after being woken up, the man managed to confirm it was “very real.”

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

The couple were in no rush to claim their prize the next day – or even the next week. “We wanted to keep things normal while we thought about our next steps.”

But with such a life-changing event, sleep was hard to come by.

“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 kept their yellow ticket hidden in a sock draw but admitted it was “nerve-wracking” to know they had over $33 million sitting there.

“I kept thinking, ‘goodness, I better make sure the iron is turned off’ every time I went out!” said the woman.

With their win finally claimed, the couple are looking forward to the future – but are going to take their time and think through how they want to use the winnings.

“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.

“Winning this is definitely a defining moment of our lives.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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