Pokeno Family Win $42 Million Powerball

Robert Longthorpe - Senior Writer
Robert Longthorpe
20 November 2021 in News

Winning big at an online casino in New Zealand is a dream of many. However, few online casino games come close to paying out what the National Lotto does. Humongous lottery payouts are exciting for the winners. They are also exciting for all the lottery ticket buyers, who feel that they could be next. Even the organisers and ticket retailers are enthused because news of big wins is positive advertisement. An unnamed family from Pokeno took home $42.1million in Lotto Powerball late in October 2021.

The News of the Big Win Sinks In

A female member of the family had the ticket in her possession. She became aware that the Powerball had been hit when she read the news next morning. Her immediate reaction was great news for the winners. Then she read that the winning ticket was sold at Countdown Pokeno and the first tinge of excitement began to blossom. She extricated the ticket from her wallet and checked the results on MyLotto. Later she said, "I don’t know why, but that one line of my ticket stood out to me from the moment I started checking – I barely even looked at the other lines, the winning numbers almost seemed to jump out at me."

One would have expected the winner to go crazy, but she calmly waited for husband to come in after completing his stint in the garden. Then she leapt up and told him about winning $42 million on the Powerball. She blurted out that they were now multimillionaires. Once the news began to sink in, the husband took the ticket and matched it just to double check. He said, "I checked it, then checked it again – and again! But no matter how many times I checked the ticket I kept getting the same thing – all six numbers and the Powerball on the one line. I couldn't believe what I was seeing."

What the Win Means to the Family

Big Powerball wins are not only about self-interest but about helping the township as well. This is exactly how this family felt. “This prize is going to make a real difference both to our family and those in our community,” they said in a statement. Their children will naturally be the first priority, but they also want to help and support local businesses.

$42 million is a lot of money and the family refrained from making any specific allotments from the win. They will think and discuss it among themselves, take their time and put a plan in place that will set up the family for the future. For now, they know that they have been incredibly lucky and despite official confirmation the win still feels unreal.

The Team that Sold the Winning Ticket

Pokeno is a small town of a little over 3000 people and one of its hubs is the Countdown Pokeno supermarket, where the lucky ticket was bought. The manager, Jatinder Chahal, said that the supermarket team was “walking on air” after contributing to one of New Zealand's biggest ever Lotto wins. The name of the staff member that actually sold the lucky ticket is not yet known and everyone is hoping it is them. In another sense, it really does not matter who the salesperson was, because the entire team is enjoying the adulation and congratulations from its customers and community.

The store just recently opened in February with the inauguration done by Councillor Jacqui Church and Wihiria Mark. The winnings on the lottery tickets sold there so far had amounted to a few thousand dollars so the $42 million hit is phenomenal. The staff celebrated by decorating the Lotto counter with pink and blue balloons.

The Buzz in the Community

The press also reported the reaction of the townspeople to this mind boggling event. Helen Clotworthy, owner of Pokeno Bacon, was one of the persons interviewed. She thought that the winner was a local person because of the strict border and alert level restrictions. She also noticed that fewer out of towners were patronising her store. She was only certain that she was not the winner.

Local resident, Lucelle VanBoxel, spoke of rumours that the winner was a man in his 20s. She hoped that was true because, “It would be nice for a young one to win that money especially with the prices of housing these days.” Travis Jenkins, from nearby Bombay, said he had not bought a Lotto ticket recently, but he wished that he had after hearing the news of the win. Jenkins added, "I'd spend it all on cars to be honest. Buy my dad a big V8."

The Biggest Win

The $42 million hit is the second largest win in New Zealand Lotto history. The largest prize was a $44 million Powerball lottery won by a young couple from the Hibiscus Coast in November 2016. Kiwis are hoping that the next 40 million plus win comes sooner than five years.

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