Lotto win­ner buys ticket as wife says ‘ don’t be greedy’

Weekend Herald - - NEWS - An­nemarie Quill

Power­ball mil­lion­aire Lou Te Keeti is buy­ing an­other ticket for tonight’s $ 30 mil­lion Lotto draw — but he is not go­ing to tell his wife.

Be­fore the 70- year- old kau­matua scooped $ 10.3m in the Lotto Power­ball on July 8, his wife Val used to tell him he was “wast­ing his money” buy­ing a ticket every week.

“But I used to tell her, you have to be in it to win it. And I was proved right. I don’t like to rub that in with her, but let’s just say I might men­tion it every now and again.”

Te Keeti said Val was ap­palled ear­lier this week when he told her he was go­ing to buy a ticket for Wed­nes­day’s Lotto draw.

“She said, ‘ Lou, don’t be greedy, we have had our turn, you give some­one else a chance’.

“And she told me ‘ Don’t be stupid ei­ther, it is not like you are go­ing to win again’.”

Te Keeti, 70, says life is still “hec­tic” af­ter the win. He has spent about $ 2m of his win­nings and lost around 10kg in weight since the win.

He and the whanau — he has four chil­dren and seven mokop­una — have not splashed out.

“I’ve sorted out the kids and the grand­kids so they will al­ways be com­fort­able, but the kids are sen­si­ble. I spoke to my son in Aus­tralia this week, he is still work­ing hard and that makes me proud. I don’t think they will use the money for friv­o­lous things — with the grand­kids I am try­ing to get them to learn how to use it wisely to make money, and fo­cus on phi­lan­thropy.”

He i s still in his old gum­boots, but he has splashed out re­cently on a new car, buy­ing the lat­est sporty Suzuki Swift a few weeks ago.

On a whim he also pur­chased a car for Val, a red lat­est- model Ford Fo­cus, but she was not im­pressed.

“It sat in the drive­way for t wo weeks. I said ‘ Aren’t you go­ing to drive your car?’. She would sit in it but not even turn the engine on, and would go off in her old man­ual car.

“Even­tu­ally she told me she didn’t like it — it had too many bells and whis­tles that she didn’t want to bother with. She likes to turn things on man­u­ally she says, not press a screen.”

Te Keeti took the car back, and traded it in for a gold Swift.

“But then still she made me go and get a war­rant on her old man­ual. Luck­ily it passed. So she is still driv­ing that.”

He has also pur­chased two more mares to breed race­horses, a pas­sion which he says he and Val share. The cou­ple now own five mares, two of which are at Cam­bridge stud farms “look­ing for suit­ors”.

“They even gave me a new cap at the stud farm.”

The cou­ple will soon move from their home ready for ren­o­va­tions to take place.

“When it i s done I think that i s where Val will en­joy do­ing the in­te­ri­ors of the home. But she will still want all our his­tory, all her or­na­ments and pho­tos.”

The road to the urupa ( ceme­tery) i s al­most com­plete, and Te Keeti will con­tinue look­ing af­ter Wairoa Marae where he i s kaiti­aki ( guardian).

With the whanau and hapu looked af­ter, and money given to char­i­ties — Te Keeti gave $ 300,000 to three lo­cal char­i­ties soon af­ter his win — he said he was turn­ing his fo­cus to plan­ning ahead.

“I sat down the other day and said to Val that I only have five to 10 years left so we need to plan how we are go­ing to spend it.”

She told me not to be silly and that she wasn’t go­ing to spend the next five years liv­ing any dif­fer­ently than the last 50 years.

The cou­ple cel­e­brate their fifti­eth wed­ding an­niver­sary next year.

I’ve sorted out the kids and the grand­kids so they will al­ways be com­fort­able, but the kids are sen­si­ble. Lou Te Keeti, Power­ball win­ner

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