17 Dec 2015

$15m Lotto winner to split win with friend

5:15 pm on 17 December 2015

A Porirua man who won a $15 million Lotto prize is halving the winnings with a friend, after the two made a pact many years ago.

Eastside 4 Square owner Dipak Dubariya

Eastside Four Square owner Dipak Dubariya sold the ticket that hit the jackpot. Photo: RNZ / Alexa Cook

The ticket, bought from Eastside Four Square on Mungavin Avenue in Porirua, hit the Powerball jackpot last night and also scooped $250,000 from Lotto's first division.

The winner, who spoke through a spokesperson for Lotto, wanted to remain anonymous but said he was with his family in Porirua last night when they checked the numbers online.

He said they were all screaming and hugging each other, and they checked the ticket about 10 times.

The winner said the best thing about the win was that he could help friends, family and projects he cared about in the community.

The family flew to Auckland this morning and were planning to go out to dinner to celebrate.

Store's owner delighted

Eastside Four Square owner Dipak Dubariya told Morning Report he was delighted at the win.

"I am really happy that, being a Porirua local, one of my local customers has won the $15m jackpot. It is one of the lifetime, I guess, gifts before Christmas for them. It will change their life."

Mazina Jalal owned the shop for 22 years before selling it to Mr Dubariya several months ago.

Ms Jalal said she sold a winning $1m ticket 15 years ago, and having another win for the shop was very exciting.

She said it had created "quite a buzz" for the community and she hoped someone local had won.

Nimesh Bhavasar, owner Dipak Dubariya, and Peajesh Patel celebrate selling the winning Lotto ticket.

Nimesh Bhavasar, left, Mr Dubariya, centre, and Peajesh Patel celebrate their shop selling the winning ticket. Photo: RNZ / Alexa Cook

Lotto New Zealand said the winner was the first to hit the Powerball jackpot on a Wednesday.

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