Fortune won in Ponsonby
THERE’S been a good buzz in Gary Ashton’s Ponsonby shop this week.
It’s come from being the shop that sold the Lotto ticket which netted one lucky punter $33 million on Saturday night.
The $33 million prize – the largest individual Powerball prize in the game’s history – was won by a single ticket sold by Mr Ashton at his Ponsonby Rd shoe repair and Lotto shop One Step Ahead.
The prize has been claimed by a self-described ‘‘westie’’ who has asked to remain anonymous.
The man says he was driving to work and heard on the radio that the prize was still unclaimed, and realised he had bought a ticket from the shop that sold the winning one.
‘‘When I heard it was still unclaimed, I thought, ‘ you know, it could be me’. But I still went straight to the gym before checking my tickets.
‘‘I thought, ‘ well if I’ve just won $33 million I might not be able to concentrate on getting my exercise done afterwards’. I guess I didn’t really think it would be me.’’
He says he is yet to come to terms with the win but treating family and friends is the first order of business.
‘‘I went into One Step Ahead during the week and was joking with the guy behind the counter about the $22 million Big Wednesday prize and how good it would be to win even a share of that.
‘‘He wished me good luck, and then I was on my way.’’
Mr Ashton says there was a real buzz in the shop on Monday with many customers stopping in.
‘‘It’s the biggest prize ever in Lotto history, and it’s a weird feeling,’’ he says of selling the ticket.
‘‘There’s been a great atmosphere in here today, people are coming in on a real high about Ponsonby winning it. It’s certainly got people talking about it.’’
The store has sold six first division-winning tickets in its history, Mr Ashton says.
Saturday night’s prize had to go after the jackpot passed the $30m threshold.
Normally, winners have to pick all six numbers and the Powerball but because no-one picked all the correct numbers it dropped down to second division.
The winning ticket had five numbers, the bonus ball and the allimportant Powerball.
Two punters will be kicking themselves after picking all six Lotto numbers but not the Powerball. The pair get $500,000 each. The $22 million Big Wednesday prize was won by a ticket bought in Christchurch.
Lucky store: One Step Ahead shop owner Gary Ashton, right, and staff member Bruce McRae. The shop sold the $33m winning Lotto ticket.