Hamilton couple’s $10,000 windfall

It wasn’t a bad welcome home. Alison and Colin Murray had just returned to New Zealand after a gruelling 50-hour flight from Spain, where they’d been on holiday. Left exhausted from repeated flight delays, the couple finally made it back to Hamilton. 

“Our daughter was dropping us off back home when my mobile rang. I thought it was someone welcoming us home and it sure was - it was Gail McIntyre from the Heart Foundation asking if we had received a letter from them. I explained we had been away for several weeks and Gail proceeded to tell me that we had won $10,000 in the earlybird draw!”    

Feeling ecstatic, the couple hurriedly checked through their pile of mail and soon found a letter confirming their win. Alison says the $10,000 meant a lot to them. 

She’d been a regular supporter of the Heart Foundation for about 20 years and often bought five tickets in each lottery. Her father died of a massive heart attack while fishing off the Alderman Islands back in 1969. She was only 15 years old at the time of this tragedy. 

“I was close to my Dad and it had a devastating effect on me, my mum, brothers and sister. Mum did a wonderful job of continuing to raise us four kids. Mum is now 90, has never remarried, just cared for us all until we left home and had families of our own.  Mum, too, often buys Heart Foundation tickets.”

Colin has had no heart issues but his dad had double by-pass surgery and has a pacemaker.

Both Alison and Colin are extremely active people. They have mountain-biked through Africa and Fiji, along with tackling the Otago Rail Trail, Alps to Ocean, Hauraki Rail Trail and multiple Taupo/Rotorua trails. Alison has also completed five marathons (including New York), walked the Oxfam 100km and competed in hundreds of athletic events. 

“I have always been fully aware that I may be prone to a sudden heart attack,” she says.   

After winning the $10,000 in July 2012, they decided to put it into a travel fund to visit Gallipoli for the 100th Anniversary of World War 1 in 2015.    

“My father and father-in-law both fought for our country in WWII and we thought this was fitting to go over for this important occasion. Unfortunately, we entered the ballot and neither of us was elected so we will not be going in 2015 but the money is still set aside for Gallipoli – one day.”

The couple are extremely grateful to the Heart Foundation for the $10,000 prize and say they will continue supporting the charity into the future. 

“Thank you Heart Foundation – you do an incredible job,” Alison says. 

The Heart Foundation Lottery is currently celebrating its 21st Birthday and is putting on its biggest ever prize pool to mark the occasion. 

Included in the $720,000 pool is a beautiful three-bedroom Jennian home in Pauanui.

“We’ve returned to Pauanui where we gave away our very first home all those years ago. This is a fantastic holiday spot on the Coromandel Peninsula, just a few hours south of Auckland. Winning this will be life changing,” says Lottery Manager Gail McIntyre.

Two overseas holidays, a new car from Toyota and $10,000 cash are also up for grabs.