A MAN who won a $14.3 million Powerball prize over the weekend called his boss to say "I quit" after he found out he'd struck the enormous jackpot.
He then excitedly told an airport security guard and other passengers getting on his plane about the massive windfall before flying to Auckland to present his ticket.
Lotto spokeswoman Emilia Mazur said the man, who wants to remain anonymous, presented the ticket to Lotto officials late yesterday afternoon.
He said he had no idea he had won the major prize before checking his ticket, which he had tucked away in his wallet.
"As soon as I found out I'd won, I wrote my name on the back of the ticket and worked out the quickest way to get me and ticket to Auckland," he said.
"I phoned my girlfriend straight away. We had a few mixed emotions, but mainly happiness."
The man also told family members "and they're all over the moon".
"I also told a few people I met at the airport - the security guard and other passengers on the plane. I was acting so erratically I felt like I needed to justify my behaviour."
Asked if he had planned to quit his job now that his future was financially secure he said "yes, I already have".
"I phoned up and said I wouldn't be coming back in as soon as I found out."
"I'm sure I'll find other productive ways to fill in my days beyond the 8 to 5. I like working with my hands so might build myself a workshop to potter around in or do some volunteering as well now I have the time."
The man, whose biggest previous Lotto win was "maybe $24 or $28" said he always wanted "a house with five acres around it and a dog".
"Lots of ideas are running through my mind - anything is possible for me now. I'll probably still buy a house, and I want to help all of my kids get houses too."
The winning ticket was sold at the Ashburton Countdown Lotto. The prize was made up of $13,395,864 from Powerball first division and $1 million from Lotto first division.
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