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Like $ 5.2 million lottery ticket sat unnoticed in the glove compartment of his car, his unwitting owner was arrested in a New Zealand street by two strangers.

It was the end of a month-long hunt for Lotto’s “spies”.

They had a very particular skill set.

A Morrinsville Lottery player drove for a month with his winning ticket in the glove compartment of his car.
A Morrinsville Lottery player drove for a month with his winning ticket in the glove compartment of his car. (Things)

Skills that make them a dream come true for people like him.

They looked for him and found him … and they told him.

All in a particular place and time, where they knew he would be alone to absorb the news that would change his life.

The scene, like a happy take on a Liam Neeson movie that ends with champagne showers instead of bullets, was an example of a little-known ability that Lotto has used only twice to make sure its winners receive their loot directly.

The Morrinsville winner had succeeded with the $ 5.2 million Powerball lottery drawing on October 17.

The family told him to check his ticket, but he never did.

The award was unclaimed for a month before Lotto took up the case and delivered the good news in person.

But before that, Lotto had to do some research.

In such cases, staff log into the Lotto gaming system, retrieving when and how the ticket was purchased.

If the information is not useful then they look CCTV Imagesand, on rare occasions, it hires private investigators.

It is only the second time that Lotto NZ has personally gotten close to a winner.

In 2013, staff knocked on the door of a Christchurch home and told a man that he had made $ 20.8 million. He had thought the prize had already been claimed.

Marie Winfield, head of communications for Lotto NZ, said that in this case the staff knew enough about the Morrinsville winner to know his movements throughout the day, so two Auckland staff members got in the car and drove to where I was.

“They went to where they knew he would be and they managed to catch him outside on the street at a time when he was not surrounded by anyone and they approached him,” said Ms. Winfield.

“We were very lucky in this situation … we were able to locate the person with relative ease … fortunately these days technology makes it a little easier,” he said.

“It’s not every day you can go up to someone on the street and tell them that we think they are a billionaire.

“They said the best thing was seeing the expression on the man’s face when he checked the ticket and realized they weren’t kidding, describing it as ‘absolutely priceless.’

“We were 100 percent sure when we approached him, he was the one who bought the ticket.

“While he was there, he went to his car, got the ticket back and they were able to verify it on the spot.

“There is always the fear that someone has lost it.”

The lottery ticket deposited the lucky winner $ 5 million. (The Lott)

The family visited Lotto head office in Auckland to claim their prize and are finally celebrating the big win.

They haven’t made big decisions about what to do with the money, but they said they would like to pay off their mortgage.

Next, the winner wants to make sure their children are prepared for the future.

“Anyway, I never thought I would be the lucky winner, it’s unbelievable,” he said in a statement.

“It was a huge surprise when the Lotto people came up to me and said they thought I was the owner of a ticket worth $ 5.2 million.

“I kept thinking, ‘You’ve got to be kidding …’ But it wasn’t.

“They asked me if I had my ticket with me, which I did, so we manually dialed the numbers using the Lotto NZ app. They all matched up and the first thing the lady said was to write my name on the back.

“That’s when I realized it and I thought, ‘My God, this changes my life.’

“Next time I’ll listen to my daughter tell me to check my ticket.”

After the news, the man went home and told his wife that they were $ 5.2 million richer.

“He came home and said, ‘We have to go to Auckland this week love … I won the lottery.’ It really was amazing, but I knew he was telling the truth. “

Then the man called his daughter.

“I just called her and said, ‘Guess what? Two people from Lotto came by today to tell me I was the $ 5.2 million winner in Morrinsville,'” he laughed.

Powerball tickets are generally claimed within two to three days. Lotto NZ will wait a few weeks before starting to search for someone.

“We just want people to have their award, we are not interested in holding on to it,” Winfield said.

And from what Ms. Winfield knows, only one $ 950.00 ticket has gone unclaimed.

Tickets expire after 12 months and the longer Lotto NZ waits, the harder it is to find them.

In 2019, a $ 16.2 million prize went unclaimed for three weeks, while the winner from the South Island quietly accepted the victory before claiming his prize.

That same year, a Powerball prize of $ 11.6 million was unclaimed for more than two weeks.

In 2017, it took a couple from Gisborne two weeks to claim their $ 6.1 million Powerball and in 2014, a couple from Hamilton sat on their $ 15.4 million win for 10 days.

The ticket in Morrinsville was sold at Paper Plus Morrinsville for the drawing on Saturday, October 17, 2020.

This article originally appeared on Things and has been reproduced with permission.

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