A Matamata man is waiting for $10,144,395.82 to land in his bank after apparently hitting the jackpot.
27-year-old Rawiri Pou played $250 on an online casino. He won $1500 and put it back for the Jackpot round. He was astonished when he actually won.
Pou, who comes from a tight-knit family says, "I still can’t believe this is real. I’ve been in shock since I won and it is literally going to change my life. There is so much my family and I can do with this money and it couldn’t have come at a better time. We are so overwhelmed and happy.”
Pou and his mother were driven to Auckland by CasinoLand and accommodated at the Heritage Hotel where a press conference was held this morning.
In front of national media he was presented with a copy of a cheque and a promise that the money would be in his bank account on Friday.
The $10 million jackpot is one of the largest ever paid out by an online casino. A spokesperson from Casinoland says, “We’re all thrilled for Rawiri. It’s a life-changing amount of money and we wish him the very best for the future."
Pou told Te Kaea he's fully aware that gambling is a major problem among Māori and does not want to be seen as promoting gambling. Like Lotto played by thousands of New Zealanders each week, his win was only luck. He has advised people to "always think before you act."
He is unsure of what he will do with the money although he does want to spoil his mum, dad and three siblings.
Te Kāea also raised the issue of problem gambling with Casinoland and spokesperson Harry Randall said "Casinoland takes problem gambling very seriously. Players should gamble in moderation and only what they can afford to lose."
Te Kāea also approached the Department of Internal Affairs for comment on the validity of the reported win:
An Internal Affairs’ spokesman said CasinoLand has not been brought to the Department’s attention but, based on reports of other large so-called “wins” in online lottery scams, it is suspicious. The Department will be following up the report. It is not illegal for New Zealanders to gamble over the internet with overseas operators but it is illegal to advertise or promote overseas gambling in New Zealand. Only the TAB and Lotteries Commission can operate some forms of online gambling here. Other forms of internet gambling do not have the same safeguards in place as gambling hosted in New Zealand.
Semi Holland will have more details tonight on Te Kaea at 5:30.