When was the last time you bought a lotto ticket? If it was a while ago then you might want to change that soon as Southland currently seems to be in somewhat of a winning streak when it comes to lottery winners.
In fact there have been nearly as many Lotto winners in Southland between February and May as there were for all of 2018.
Just over $2.5 million worth of cash prizes have been won by six lucky Southlanders since February, with two other Southlanders winning a Ford Mustang as well as another winning a trip to Hawaii.
The top prize won was $1 million from a $15 Instant Kiwi scratchie purchased at Ascot Four Square in Invercargill, with the next best being $500,000 from a first division Lotto ticket purchased at a New World store also in Invercargill.
With nine major prizes won in the region so far in 2019, Lotto New Zealand spokeswoman Kirsten Robinson admits that Southland is on a bit of a lucky streak.
“It’s [a] very exciting time for our players down south,” she said. “Winning can happen anywhere, anytime. It’s all part of the fun. All we know is that each of Southland’s winners had one thing in common: they all had a ticket.”
The Invercargill woman who won the $500,000 first division lotto in February said she couldn’t believe she had won, especially given she had previously taken home $20,000 a few years previously on a winning scratchie.
The woman said she had forgotten to buy her regular Lotto ticket that week but had been given a bonus ticket from her entry the week before.
“I was shaking when they told me how much I won. It was unreal. It still feels unreal even now. It’s made a huge difference to my life. I’ve been able to help out my kids and it has given me a lot more financial freedom.”
In 2018 the region had 10 major Lotto wins through either a first division Lotto Family prize or Instant Kiwi scratchie, with 11 in 2017, 10 in 2015 and 7 in 2014.
If the trend continues in 2019, the region just might catch up to its 2016 record of 16 major winners. A
nd if you do happen to win big, the first division winner from Invercargill has some sage advice.
“Don’t go out and rush into anything. Take your time and think about what you really want.”
This article was originally written for The Advocate. You can read the published version here