For­tune won in Pon­sonby

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

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.

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