A group of healthcare workers in Auckland have been rewarded for their efforts throughout the pandemic, striking it lucky at Lotto.
The group of 12 workmates, who have been playing Lotto together for about five years, won $1 million with Lotto First Division on Saturday.
They bought the ticket from Four Square Red Beach in north Auckland.
But it took a few days for them to discover their fortune.
"I was driving to work on the Monday morning when I heard on the radio that the Lotto store I bought our ticket from had sold a big winning ticket. It was pretty exciting to hear, so I thought I better tell the team," the syndicate organiser said.
"I pulled over and sent a message to the group to fill them in on the news. Everyone replied back with funny messages about how we have to be in to win, but not to get our hopes up."
However, the organiser said she decided to pop in to check her deck anyway "just in case".
"Even though I knew we'd bought our ticket at the winning store I didn't seriously think we'd be the winners – so when the lady at the shop told me we’d won $1 million I just froze with shock. I had no idea what to do," she said.
After getting to work, the organiser took each of the 11 other workmates aside to share the news - but it took some convincing.
"None of them believed me," she said.
"It took a fair amount of time to convince them it was true – luckily, I had photos of the winning ticket which helped a bit.
"This couldn’t have come at a better time, with work so busy with Covid at the moment – this really is an uplift that none of us could've ever imagined."