According to the The New Zealand Herald, a New Zealand man who was working on a major motorway extension project turned up to work the day after winning a whopping $NZ19.1 million ($17 million) on Powerball – and was told by his co-workers to go home.
Unsurprisingly, the Warkworth man ended up quitting his job on the Transport Agency’s Puhoi motorway extension soon after last month’s win.
In an interview with television program Seven Sharp, one of the man’s colleagues said he initially didn’t know he had won.
“I play Lotto religiously but it wasn’t me,” he said. “We were fortunate to have one of our people on the project … and whammo, he won the winning ticket.
“He turned up for the work, and I think the rest of the team said, ‘Mate, you probably need to go home’.”
The winner, who wished to remain anonymous, spoke with the Herald last week, and said he had discovered he had won the prize while grocery shopping.
“I handed over my ticket to the lady behind the counter and the words: ‘Congratulations, you are a First Division winner’ flashed up on the screen,” he said.
“I asked the lady, ‘what does this mean?’ but the expression on her face gave it away — her eyes were wide and she had a massive grin on her face.
“When she told me I had won $19 million, it was like it didn’t even register … she probably thought I wasn’t even excited — if only she knew how I was feeling inside, I was bursting with happiness.”
He celebrated with a swim at the beach before breaking the news to his partner.
“While I was swimming I had been thinking about how I wanted to tell her, so I wandered in the house and casually asked her: ‘Did you hear someone in Warkworth has won $19 million?’
“When she turned to look at me I said ‘and you’re looking at him’. She just stared at me in shock, trying to read my face.”
The man shared the total prize of $NZ38 million with a syndicate of three generations.