In­gle­wood abuzz over $22m win­ning ticket

Stratford Press - - News - By ILONA HANNE

In­gle­wood was buzzing last week with the news a win­ning Lotto ticket, worth over $22 mil­lion, had been sold at a lo­cal store.

Last Thurs­day, af­ter news of the Wed­nes­day evening draw spread through the town, Lo­raine Reeve was kept busy at the In­gle­wood Book Cen­tre check­ing cus­tomers’ tick­ets through­out the day.

She said she and her hus­band were hop­ing it might be a lo­cal who won, although she says there were a lot of visi­tors and tourists com­ing through the town and buy­ing tick­ets.

“We get lots of peo­ple pass­ing through, as well as peo­ple who are visit­ing In­gle­wood for a while over the hol­i­days, so while it might be a lo­cal, it could just as eas­ily be some­one from some­where else in the coun­try.”

Lo­raine has worked at the busi­ness for more than 24 years, and she and her hus­band David bought it just over 10 years ago. Soon af­ter they bought it, they sold a ticket which won $1 mil­lion she says, “but never any­thing as big as this win”.

The win last week was a $22m Power­ball prize plus a $333,333 first di­vi­sion win, an amount Lo­raine says would cer­tainly be “life chang­ing” for the win­ner.

“There’s so much you could do with that money, you could have a lot of fun, but also do a lot of good.”

When they re­alised they had sold the ticket, Lo­raine says she and her hus­band did talk about what they would do had they won it them­selves.

“David said one of the first things would be to give some money to Marinoto Resthome.

“They are fundrais­ing cur­rently for some of the money needed to build a new hos­pi­tal wing, it would be great just to give them the rest of the money they need to reach their tar­get.”

Lo­raine says she and her hus­band heard from a friend that they had sold the win­ning ticket.

She says the win­ner hadn’t brought in the win­ning ticket yet, but she hoped they would bring it to her shop.

An­gela Mackie was one of the many to call into the shop on Thurs­day to check her tick­ets.

“We don’t buy Lotto ev­ery week, just ev­ery now and then when it is a big prize like this. Be­cause we bought the ticket from the store, when we heard its where the win­ning ticket came from I didn’t want to check it on­line last night. I wanted to have the pos­si­bil­ity for a bit longer so waited un­til to­day to come in and check.”

While An­gela’s ticket didn’t have the win­ning num­bers, she says she still en­joyed the few hours of pos­si­bil­ity.

“Dreams are free I sup­pose, and I have bought an­other ticket now, af­ter all, it’s ob­vi­ously a lucky shop!”

The prize was claimed last week, with a young woman who lives in In­gle­wood the lucky win­ner.

While say­ing she wishes to re­main anony­mous, the young woman has been happy to de­scribe the cir­cum­stances around dis­cov­er­ing the mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar ticket — at home while watch­ing a movie.

“I was tucked up in bed early on Wed­nes­day night watch­ing a movie on my lap­top, when all of a sud­den a fam­ily mem­ber rushed into my bed­room.”

With news of the lo­cal win well known among the In­gle­wood com­mu­nity, the fam­ily mem­ber knew the woman had re­cently bought a Lotto ticket and urged her to check it.

“When he turned and told me I’d won, I knew he wasn’t jok­ing this time. His face had com­pletely changed and he even had tears in his eyes — and he never cries,” she said.

The win­ner rushed over to an­other fam­ily mem­ber’s house to cel­e­brate the news.

“As soon as I walked in the door, they guessed what had hap­pened straight away. I think they could just tell on my face that I was in a bit of a shock,” the woman said.

Af­ter cel­e­brat­ing the win with a few drinks with fam­ily in the back­yard, the win­ner kept her ticket locked away un­til visit­ing Lotto HQ in Auck­land to claim her prize.

“Hon­estly, it’s been a bit of whirl­wind — it def­i­nitely hasn’t sunk in yet,” the woman said.

“I’m just go­ing to take my time to let ev­ery­thing set­tle — I’ve got my whole life ahead of me and this is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity. The main thing that’s been on my mind is who I am go­ing to help with this win, how many lives I can change — es­pe­cially my fam­ily.”

Lo­raine Reeve was thrilled to have sold the win­ning Lotto ticket from her shop in In­gle­wood.

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