The Powerball lottery is operated in full compliance with New Zealand gambling laws and is open for all residents of the country. One family in the town of Nelson will be particularly happy this Christmas with the NZ$8.1 million jackpot win on a combination of Powerball and ten division one prizes.
The Powerball jackpot stood at NZ$6 million, while division one prizes amounted to NZ$214,286 each. What makes this story unique is the fact that the winner is a reportedly a high ranking executive in one of the foreign based online casinos in New Zealand.
The winning family kept their win under the radar, quietly submitting their claim to the lottery authorities. However, the seller of the amazingly lucky tickets, small shop owner David Smolenski, couldn’t keep his excitement to himself and spoke to the media.
He revealed that the winning family members were regular lotto enthusiasts, buying tickets at his store on a weekly basis. The lucky tickets contained their usual numbers. The shop owner told the press that the winners were hugely excited and scared at the same time. Smolenski told commented: “You couldn’t ask for a better Christmas, could you? I mean the weekend before Christmas, you get $8 million – I don’t know what gets better than that.”
Karen Jones, lotto spokeswoman, told New Zealand gambling news that she has already contacted the winners. She said: “They found out they had won whilst watching the live Lotto draw. They recognized their numbers and then became very excited whilst they hurriedly tried to find the ticket and check it. They’re over the moon.”
Jones also revealed that it seems to be the first time in the lottery’s history that someone had claimed both the Powerball jackpot and all 10 division one prizes.