- Publish Date
- Friday, 22 September 2017, 8:00AM
"The cream, the cake and the icing" is how one of 10 lucky Lotto winners described their $30 million prize.
Winner Tina, who only wants to be known by her first name, spoke for the rest of the group with a glass of champagne in hand. She said it was great the massive prize was split between 10 of them, giving them each $3.025m.
"Which makes it a lovely amount for each individual person.
"The most common thing I've heard is they're going to help their families. Make it easier for their children to get into a house or have no mortgage. Just give them a boost.
"It's sharing the love that's for sure."
Tina first got an inkling they had won at 11pm on Saturday night when she saw a note on Facebook that the winning ticket was purchased from the Richmond Superette in Taupo.
After checking her numbers online Tina was compelled to share the news and called every woman in the syndicate.
"The more people I told it to the more real it became.
"It was like the inquisition. They said 'you're kidding, you're joking, you're pulling my leg'."
They had started their syndicate five years ago after they all became friends working in a Dunedin dental clinic. Every week the women, who are in their 50s and 60s, put in $2 each and purchased a $20 lucky dip.
Now Tina lives in Taupo and some of the others have moved too.
The winning ticket was kept safely in a Christmas card behind a picture frame in Tina's house before the group brought it into the Auckland Lotto Headquarters.
It took them days to organise leave from work so they could all come up together prompting Lotto to issue a notice urging the winners to get in touch.
"No one called in sick on Monday, because that's the kind of ladies we are. Keep calm and carry on," Tina said.
"Now that it's all happened we can exhale. We've all been holding our breath. I've been exploding with it."
The money will appear in each of the women's bank accounts tonight.
Tina was keen to take a holiday with her winnings and wanted to do a musical tour of America, making a pit stop in the home of blues and jazz music - New Orleans.
But in the meantime the group will go out for a nice dinner in Auckland tonight, drink more champagne and just enjoy being together, she said. It's the first time they've all spent time together in two years.
"All I can say is I'm a happy, healthy person so I have a good life anyway. But I've got the cream, the cake and the icing [now]."
Now that they've gone public life will be about returning to normal Tina said. The first thing she planned to buy tomorrow was "a cup of joe". And she wouldn't quit work either. Tina currently works three days a week at a Taupo dental practice.
"I work in the most lovely workplace. There's no way I'm giving up my job. I do three days a week. I've said - I think I might do two."
This article was first published on NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.