Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lottery-winning beneficiary: I'm heading to space

An Auckland beneficiary who bought a lottery ticket on a whim is more than $5 million better off and hopes to travel into space.

The man, who wants to remain anonymous, was on a bike ride when he had a spur of the moment drink stop outside the Westview Superette in Titirangi, NZ Lotteries said.

After seeing an advertisement for the Big Wednesday jackpot, he bought a ticket, and yesterday discovered he was the big winner.

He won the first division prize package valued at $5,247,140, comprising $3 million in cash, an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, an Audi Q7, a $250,000 credit card, $250,000 worth of luxury travel, a $500,000 bach, a $750,000 luxury apartment and a boat.

He also won Big Wednesday's second division of $221,478 by covering heads and tails on his ticket.

The man collected his prize in Wellington today.

"People have always told me that you can't win these big prizes - but now I'm the lucky bugger this week", he said.

"I also want to look at travelling in real style - by booking a trip into space. It would be great to one of the first kiwis to make that trip."

Virgin founder Richard Branson is finalising plans to take paying passengers into space next year.

Virgin Galactic will take people 112km above the earth for about $200,000 per person.

The winner said his first call was to a family member to share his good news.

The next call? To Winz to cancel his benefit.