The search is finally over for Twizel's missing Lotto winner.
After several weeks of speculation and excitement, the owner of the $17.1 million ticket has come forward.
The winner, a South Island local who wished to remain anonymous, said they were shocked when they first looked at the lucky ticket.
"I had to re-check the ticket multiple times before I was convinced that I had won."
They decided to tuck the ticket away and lay low for a while, to let it all sink in.
"I wasn't in a rush to claim the prize - and I needed some time to process things. It's all been very surreal,"
The prizewinner said they intended to use some of the money to pay of several of their close friends' mortgages as well as doing some travelling.
"I've travelled a little, but never thought I would have the chance to travel more. I have so many options now and life will be so much easier."
They did not plan on keeping all the money, and would select several charities to donate to.
The winner will join a small group of Lotto multi-millioniares from 2019, with the largest prize of $22.3 million taken home by someone in Taranaki in January.
A Lotto spokesperson said the winner was not found by a private investigator and instead came forward direct to the organisation.