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'I keep crying': $27m Lotto winner

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/05/2017

The mystery Thames couple that won a $27.3 million Lotto draw over the weekend say they're still being brought to tears by the scale of their prize.

"It still doesn't seem real," the winner told Lotto NZ after finally coming forward to claim the prize.

"I keep crying every time I think about it."

The small Coromandel town has been abuzz with speculation since Saturday night's draw - not surprisingly its biggest-ever lottery win.

The couple said despite receiving texts from relatives and friends saying someone in Thames had won, they didn't bother checking their ticket online until Sunday.

"We were having a cup of tea and just started talking about it and wondering who had won. Then we figured we should check our ticket, so at least we would know one way or the other," the winner said.

"I couldn't breathe. I kept trying to speak, but nothing would come out.

"Eventually I turned to my husband, in a flood of tears, and said, 'darling, I think we've won it'."

But the couple were put off by media attention as they tried to get the ticket confirmed at a dairy.

"We saw the photographer and just turned around and went home again

"We had another cup of tea to calm our nerves and a bit of a chat about what to do and then decided to phone the store and let them know we were the winners."

Martina Four Square manager Sukhtal Singh said he closed the store and arranged for the winners to slip in through a back entrance after a busy day of people coming in to check their tickets.

"We were very pleased to hear from the winners," he said.

The couple said they were not sure whether a new house or an overseas trip would be top of their list.

The win is the fourth-biggest ever, the largest being a $44 million haul in November last year.

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