Lotto operator’s mistake earns couple $532,000 - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

A slip up by a Lotto shop employee turned out to have a silver lining for an elderly Masterton couple when the "wrong" numbers won them $532,000.

The couple won last Christmas, but have managed to keep it a secret. They agreed to tell the Times-Age provided they remain anonymous.

The retired maintenance worker said he bought the winning ticket on a Thursday instead of Friday as he usually does.

"The usual lady wasnt there and I was given the wrong numbers by mistake," he said.

"I didnt realise until I got home. I told my wife that I wanted to go down and change it, but the lady said that I couldnt.


He said they didnt go overboard when they discovered they had won.

"We didnt jump up and down and throw up our arms like on TV. I turned to my wife and said can I say a profanity? Oh my God, weve got six numbers!"

The man has done a lot of voluntary work in the region and views the winnings as a reward for all his hard work.

"What we got is a repayment to what I gave to the rest of the world," he said.

"Someones looking after me, Ive always said this.

"Its all luck, the luck of the draw."

He said the money has not changed his life.

The winnings have been invested and will be put away to help their children and grandchildren.

However, he will be enjoying one luxury he has not seen much of – travel.

Hes planning a trip to Guadalcanal, where he was stationed with the navy in World War II.

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