Kuripuni Lotto and Post Shop owner Maureen Taute. PHOTO/JAKE BELESKI

JAKE BELESKI

jake.beleski@age.co.nz

The luckiest Lotto shop in Wairarapa has done it again — this time selling the $12.5 million-winning million Powerball Lotto ticket in Saturday night’s draw.

The Kuripuni Lotto and Post Shop does not usually open on a Sunday, but a prize that big can change even the strictest routines.

Not for the first time in the last few years, the shop was the centre of attention yesterday, but the prize — the fifth largest ever won in Wairarapa — had yet to be claimed on Sunday afternoon.

In 2009, a $36m prize went to four Masterton women after they bought a Big Wednesday ticket from the same store, and a few weeks later a $4.9m First Division Powerball prize was also sold at the store.

Shop owner Maureen Taute usually has Sunday off, but makes allowances after a big win.

“Let me tell you, we don’t normally open on a Sunday,” she said.

“It’s about our fifth big win, and we just find the hype is quite big after a win, so we decided to open.

“We’re a very lucky store.”

Mrs Taute only found out about her store’s success after her son-in-law informed her, and initially thought it was some sort of joke.

“He was looking at the newspaper, and said ‘do you know you’ve sold the winning ticket?’.

“We weren’t on the Lotto site so I thought he was having me on . . . I thought it must have been a joke.”

She said it was highly unlikely the winner would redeem their ticket at the same shop, as most of their big winners had dealt directly with Lotto.

But still, there were plenty of reasons to open the shop for a few hours yesterday.

“It gives an excitement to the area when there is a win in Masterton, and Masterton has been very lucky,” she said.

“In eight years, we as a shop have put about $55m into Masterton.”

A staff member at the Kuripuni Sports Bar said there had been no champagne flowing by yesterday afternoon, and none of their regular customers had any idea who had won the prize.

“But we have had a number of people joking that they have won the prize,” she said.

Lotto spokesperson Jessica O’Sullivan said in total the Kuripuni store had sold two Powerball First Division-winning tickets, and Big Wednesday First Division prizes, making it the “luckiest store in the Wairarapa region”.

The $12.5m prize was the second Powerball win for Wairarapa in the last four months, after a ticket purchased at Fresh Choice in Greytown netted half of a $38m Powerball win in November.

Largest prizes won in Wairarapa

$36.8m in June 2009: Big Wednesday (Kuripuni Lotto and Post Shop)
$19.1m in November 2017: Powerball (Fresh Choice Greytown)
$17.7m in April 2011: Powerball (Dannevirke New World)
$14.1m in April 2013: Big Wednesday (Blockbuster)
$12.5m in March 2018: Powerball (Kuripuni Lotto and Post Shop)