Lotto winner keeps promise to split $14 million with mate
THE latest New Zealand Lotto winner has made good on a pact with his best mate and split the spoils of his whopping NZD$15 million (AUD$14 million) win.
In a generous gesture just days before Christmas the lucky winner surprised his best friend with a NZD$7.5 million gift.
He said he revealed the good news during a regular weekly catch-up over a dinner and drink.
And he made sure the moment was memorable.
"I really wanted to surprise him, so handed him a photocopy of my winning ticket and the slip of paper with $15 million printed on it. He looked at the paper, then at me with his mouth hanging open, pointing at the piece of paper.
I just gave him the thumbs up and said "I won the big one - and half of it's yours!"
The Lotto winner said his best mate could not believe it and kept saying "you're joking, you're joking".
But he said the fat cut did come with strings attached.
"When I gave him the $7.5 million I told him there were three conditions - to look after our mates, help the community and that he's paying for a group of our mates to go on our dream holiday."
He said his mate was overjoyed and confident the windfall would make a real difference to his family.
Already the unnamed Lotto winner had shared the spoils among his wider family, surprising his siblings with a fat cheque a few days ago.
"We had our family Christmas at the weekend and I gave each of my siblings an envelope with a cheque for $250,000 inside. They all opened their envelopes at the same time, then looked at me in surprise and I said, 'Yip, I had the winning ticket'."
He treated himself to his dream car.
He said it had been an incredible week and he was floating on cloud nine.
As well as scooping the first-ever Wednesday Powerball jackpot he also won an extra $250,000 from Lotto First Division.