Lotto win has Taranaki town buzzing

Lotto – What would you do?

A tiny Taranaki town is abuzz after news the winning $22.3 million Powerball ticket in Wednesday night’s Lotto draw was sold there.

The lucky ticket was purchased at the Inglewood Book Centre, owned by Loraine​ and David Reeve.  It was made up of $22 million from Powerball first division and $333,333 from Lotto first division.

It’s the biggest Powerball winner sold in Taranaki, though there have been two other Powerball multi-million dollar jackpots. In November Fitzroy Lotto and Mags sold a $12.5m winning ticket.  In April 2008 Pak N Save sold one worth $19m.

The town, south of New Plymouth on State Highway 3, has a population of 3580 and there were very few who hadn’t heard the news on Thursday morning.

Loraine said the couple were heading to bed when she got a text message from a friend congratulating them on selling the winning ticket.

“I said ‘you are having me on’, and it just went from there.

“I haven’t had much sleep actually.”

She was excited to have sold the winning ticket and believed it would be life changing for the holder.

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“What couldn’t you do? You could do anything you wanted to do.”

Loraine said she had arrived at the shop about 6.45am and the first thing she did was put up the “Big Lotto Winner sold here” poster in the front window.

Once the doors had opened she said there had been a steady stream of customers through the doors wanting to check if they had the winner.

One customer said it wasn’t her as she was heading to work.

“I wasn’t me either, I’m here and the place isn’t boarded up,” Loraine replied.

The couple had sold a $1 million winner not long after they bought the business 10 years ago. They’ve also sold a few second division winners but nothing to compete with Wednesday’s jackpot.

Loraine said she hoped a local had bought the lotto ticket but couldn’t be sure.

“I really don’t know because at the moment we are getting a lot of people coming into Inglewood to visiting.

“I suppose it would be nice for the little village if it was a local.”

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She didn’t believe the lucky lotto ticket holder would come into the store to collect their winnings. Instead she thought they would head to the Lotteries Commission in Auckland.

However if they did choose to collect their new found fortune in Inglewood Loraine said she had some champagne on ice for them.

Inglewood Big Barrel owner Surjit Virk said he would be happy to help out the winners with any party supplies they needed.