Big Wednesday winner claims prize

The winner of the $27 million Big Wednesday Lotto draw only ended up buying his lucky ticket because he couldn't get a hair cut.



The Tauranga man, who is in his 20s and wishes to remain anonymous, claimed his prize in Wellington on Friday.

He was still shaking from the impact of his win, which is the third biggest prize won by an individual in NZ Lotteries history.

"I only went to AJ's Lotto to get a haircut, as it has the hairdresser at the back of the shop," he said in a statement released by NZ Lotteries.

"However, the hairdresser was shut at that time, so I thought I would use the haircut money to get a Big Wednesday ticket instead," he said.

"It was a spur-of-the-moment decision and I can't believe it has resulted in me winning so much money."

The man said he'd initially thought his ticket wasn't a winner.

"I originally checked the results on my phone, but I must have got the wrong draw so I thought my ticket was a loser.

"I chucked it aside and thought that was that and went to work."

It was only after all the talk about the unclaimed ticket that he thought he'd better check it again.

"Once I realised I was a winner I felt sick, and I pretty much had a sleepless night last night. I kept staring at the ticket and wondering if it was real," he said.

After he has let the reality of his win sink in, the man plans to buy a new car and perhaps build his first house.

"I am a bit of a greenie, so I am really keen on sustainable living. It has been my dream to build my own eco-friendly house and live off the grid. That dream is now possible."

Along with the cash, the Big Wednesday prize package includes $675,000 towards a bach, $50,000 towards luxury travel, two cars and a boat.

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