Silverdale's missing millionaires have come forward and claimed their $7.2 million Powerball prize almost two weeks after their big win.
The couple, who Lotto say they wish to remain anonymous, first heard the jackpot had been struck just days after the draw and joked they might be the winners but didn't actually check their ticket.
"The win was all over Facebook, so you really couldn't miss it. When my husband asked if I’d heard that a big Powerball prize had been won, I grabbed the ticket out of my handbag and waved it in front of him and jokingly said, 'Yip - this is the winning ticket',” said the winner.
But instead of checking the ticket, the winner simply tucked the little yellow piece of paper back in a drawer along with a pile of old Lotto tickets.
As the week went on, the couple took some time to imagine what they'd do if they really did have the winning ticket - all while the $7.2 million ticket was safely squirreled away.
"We talked about it throughout the week here and there - what we'd do, who we'd help… that kind of thing. We had a bit of a lucky feeling about our ticket but nothing serious enough to actually check it," laughed the winner.
It wasn’t until the winner went to the shops at the weekend that she finally got around to checking the lucky ticket - and she discovered just how much it was worth.
"I was going to the shops anyway, so thought I’d dig out the pile of tickets I had tucked in a drawer. As I checked them, I had a few small wins here and there - and then I scanned this ticket and saw 'First Division winner' appear on the screen," said the winner.
Not wanting to claim the prize without her husband, she jumped back in the car and headed home to find out just how lucky they had become.
"I kept telling myself that it would just be a small prize - a nice little win. I was doing everything I could to just keep calm and get home," said the winner.
"Then I looked the results up online and checked them against my ticket - the winning line jumped out at me and I popped a little star beside it. Not that I really needed to - I’ll never forget what it looked like."
When the winner’s husband arrived home, she said she had something to show him and handed over their iPad along with the winning ticket.
"We looked at each other and it kind of felt like confirmation - we’d been talking about it all week, then there it was, as real as anything. It was a totally surreal moment, but also felt right," said the winner’s husband.
With the winnings now safely in their bank account, the lucky couple are looking forward to working out what to do with their winnings.
"We’re going to take our time - we feel very lucky and want to make sure the winnings last, both for us and our kids," the winner said.
The winning Powerball ticket for the Wednesday 12 September Lotto draw was sold at Pak'nSave Silverdale, in north Auckland.
Lotto players around the country have been on a winning streak lately, and with a $2.5 million Powerball prize from Hastings yet to be claimed, Lotto NZ is urging players to check their tickets.
The unclaimed $2.5 million Powerball winning ticket was purchased at Countdown Hastings for the draw on Wednesday, September 19.
Anyone who bought their ticket from Countdown Hastings should write their name on the back of the ticket and check it immediately at any Lotto outlet, online at mylotto.co.nz or through the Lotto NZ App.