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$30 million Lotto winner thought to be from Carterton comes forward, is actually from Wellington

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The winner of a massive $30 million Lotto jackpot has come forward – but there’s a big twist.

While Saturday night’s Powerball winner was originally touted as being from the small Wairarapa township of Carterton, Lotto has tonight revealed the lucky punter is actually from Wellington.

Lotto earlier reported the single multi-million dollar ticket was sold on MyLotto to a resident in the lower North Island town.

The prize was made up of $30 million from Powerball and $166,667 from Lotto First Division. It was the largest jackpot of 2024 so far.

A Lotto NZ spokesperson this afternoon told the Herald they had now heard from their “very lucky winner” and would have more details to share in the coming days.

“Now that we have spoken with our winner, we know they are from Wellington, not Carterton as we initially thought.”

The spokesperson said when a person signs up for a MyLotto account, they have to pick their region and then their city/town, “so they may have accidentally chosen Carterton as their city/town”.

Carterton locals have been abuzz with news of the giant windfall, with many trying to guess who among their ranks was now a multimillionaire.

Speaking to the Herald tonight, Carterton Mayor Ron Mark said the news was “a bit disappointing” but “you can’t dwell over what might have been.

“We’re used to Wellington getting everything,” Mark joked.

Mark said like most country folk, Carterton locals “tend to focus on what is.

“The Lotto conversation around town has been that whoever has won it, we just hope they are people who really need it… because these are tough times and everyone knows that.

“I hope they can preserve their anonymity and carry on with their lives as normal without undue pressure from everybody who wants them to do everything… good luck to them,” Mark said.

“Easy come, easy go.”

When interviewed by the Herald on Sunday, Mark said news of the huge windfall was pleasing for the town.

“The comments I’m getting on my text messages and what I have seen on social media is pretty much people are happy for them, and congratulating them.

“I even had one friend of mine say ‘they will able to afford to pay your rates’,” said Mark, a former soldier, NZ First MP, Minister of Defence, and in his second stint as Carterton mayor.

Carterton Mayor Ron Mark. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Carterton Mayor Ron Mark. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Mark said the win would be a good thing for Carterton and the Wairarapa but asked people to be mindful of putting pressure on whoever won the big prize.

The Carterton district, population 10,500, is a friendly community where people out walking say “good morning, how are you” and has amazing community groups, he said.

“Our local swimming club has been in existence for over 100 years, our rugby club over 100 years. We have two rugby clubs, Gladstone and Carterton that both regularly feature at the top of the tables. We have got an international standard hockey pitch that has held test matches.

“We have got the Wairarapa A & P Show Grounds, two Lions groups plus Rotary, a Keep Carterton Beautiful Group made up of people pretty much over 70 and up to their 90s…there’s a lot of community stuff that goes on here.

“People look after each other and when someone has a windfall like this people smile, give it the thumbs up and say ‘good on ‘em,” said Mark.

Carterton District Council. Photo / Wairarapa Times-Age
Carterton District Council. Photo / Wairarapa Times-Age

Lotto said they would release further details about the lucky winner soon.

After Saturday’s mammoth win, 15 NZ Lotto players have now become millionaires in 2024 and Powerball been struck four times. The previous biggest win this year came on January 27 when a Canterbury MyLotto punter won $17.25m.

The biggest Lotto win ever was struck in 2020 when $50m was split between 10 players.

The prize left the lucky punters from Lincoln Heights, Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Palmerston North and Invercargill $5m richer.

A $50m jackpot was also struck in February of the same year and was shared by two Aucklanders.

One ticket was purchased by a punter online, while the second was purchased at Countdown Manukau City Mall.

Data supplied to Lotto NZ
Data supplied to Lotto NZ

The third largest win on the list is also the biggest prize to be won by a single ticket.

A young couple from Auckland’s Hibiscus Coast took home an eye-watering $44m in 2016 after purchasing the ticket at the Dairy Flat Food Mart.

Nishchal Pandya who owns the Dairy Flat Food Mart and Liquor store where the ticket was sold as well as the one where the ticket was allegedly presented said: “I just got a call from my other store, the prize has been claimed from there.”

Pandya said he was so excited when he found out about his shop’s first big win and hoped a local was the lucky winner.

A major prize by a single ticket was not struck again until October 2021 when a Pōkeno family became $ 42.1 million richer.

The family only realised Powerball had been struck when they read the news on Thursday morning.

“I didn’t know what to do next, I was sure I must be making some sort of mistake! I always imagined whooping and cheering if I won, but I have never been so calm in my life. I popped the ticket back in my wallet and waited for my husband to come inside from the garden,” the wife said.

When her husband arrived she jumped up to tell him they were now multimillionaires.

“I’d barely stepped inside when she raced over and blurted out ‘we’ve just won $42 million with Powerball’ – it took a second or two to get my head around what she had said,” he said.

Lotto multi-millionaires of 2024

January 27: $17.25 million – MyLotto, Canterbury

February 10: $8.3 million – MyLotto, Hawke’s Bay

March 2: $12.3 million – MyLotto, Otago

April 13: $30.16 million – MyLotto, Wellington

Benjamin Plummer is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. He has worked for the Herald since 2022.

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