New Zealand Couple Bags $9M in “Glitch” Lottery Win

A married couple in Wellington, New Zealand, hit the jackpot last week when their lottery numbers found their target in the Powerball draw. They’re now NZ$16 million (US$9.3 million) richer, although they initially thought the win was nothing more than a glitch.

A lottery player purchases a ticket for the New Zealand Powerball. A lucky couple won over $9 million in a draw last week. (Image: RNZ)

The couple only played the lottery occasionally, according to media outlet Stuff, never really expecting to win. Then, everything changed.

The New Zealand Lotteries Commission announced the winning numbers for last Wednesday’s draw, indicating that someone in Wellington was holding the ticket. That narrowed down the options, but the couple still didn’t get excited.

Overnight Success

Since the winning lottery ticket was sitting on a table or in someone’s wallet somewhere in Wellington, the couple quickly moved to check their numbers. When they realized that were holding a tiny piece of paper worth millions of dollars, they initially thought it must be a mistake.

They checked the numbers again and again, ultimately realizing that they had won when they received a confirmation message. However, still thinking it was a dream, that night brought sleeplessness and hopes that they wouldn’t have to wake up to a different reality.

The couple finally reported to the Lotto operator to claim their prize, requesting to remain anonymous. It was then that the truth really set in – they were millionaires with more money than they ever thought of having.

They’re already making plans for how to spend the windfall, and have chosen some of the typical targets of lottery winners. They want to renovate and pay off their home, as well as take a family vacation. Part of the money will also go to charity.

If the win was a glitch, it was a happy glitch, just like it has been for another lottery winner in Canada. Antoine Beaini won CAD1 million (US$736,300) in the Maxmillion LOTTO in August of last year. He then repeated the feat earlier this month. The odds of that happening are greater than four billion to one.

Australia Set For Record Lottery Draw

Just a short hop away from New Zealand, Australia is about to change lives. One or more could win today’s Powerball draw, which has a top prize of AU$160 million (US$103.53 million). That makes it the largest Powerball ever.

As the prize increased, so did participation. Millions of Aussies were buying tickets ahead of the draw, with the lottery operator reporting up to 1,100 ticket sales per minute. The numbers have now been revealed, and three tickets matched. They will each receive AU$53 million (US$34.121 million)

Today’s draw beats the AU$150 million (US$97.06 million) from 2019. Three tickets also hit the right combination of numbers then, with each taking home AU$50 million (US$32.35 million). In Australia, lottery winnings are tax-free income.

The US Powerball is setting records, as well. It is now worth $800 million after Wednesday night’s draw didn’t find a winner.

The new prize amount is the second-largest in Powerball’s history, according to the lottery organization. However, the winner will ultimately give up around 37% to the IRS. There will be another cut if there are any state taxes. For some, this means handing over as much as 45% of the winnings.

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