Congratulations to the hundreds of Heart Foundation New Zealand Lottery supporters who have won dream homes, travel prizes, cash and new cars over the years! We love to experience our winners’ delight, each and every Lottery.
It's all working out for Emil
Emil Tui was at work when his phone rang. In fact, Emil was working out at work.
"We all do team exercises every morning,'' he explains. It could have been a day like any other at Marley NZ, where Emil has worked for 35 years. But this would turn out to be a day he would never forget.
"When they told me we'd won a brand new home in Waipu, my first reaction was, 'You've got to be kidding me!'" Emil laughs. "By now the other guys had all stopped and were staring at me!"
Emil's next call was to his wife, Johanne. "I recall there was a bit of screaming on the other end of the phone," he laughs. "It's funny, because just the day before we’d received the mailer for the Taupo Lottery and Johanne said, 'I wonder who's won the Waipu house?' We never would have guessed it would be us!"
For Emil and Johanne the timing couldn’t have been better. "I'm a couple of years away from retiring," he explains. "But now, we’ve decided to sell our home in Manurewa and go live in Waipu, for a couple of years at least. Our daughter and her husband are building in Maraetai, so eventually we might move closer to the family, but we'll keep the Waipu home as well."
Good luck seems to follow Emil around. "The last thing I won was a Ford Laser, way back in the '80s," he says. "It's amazing how life can change with a phone call in just a few seconds."
A long time Lottery supporter, Emil plans to keep buying tickets. "It really doesn't matter if you win because the money is going to a good cause," he says. "We went up and stayed at our new house at Queen's Birthday weekend and the neighbours all came over and introduced themselves. Some of them are Lottery buyers and we all agreed how important it is to support the Heart Foundation’s work."
Your Lottery support keeps us working
Every Lottery ticket helps to fund vital heart health research, programmes and resources that help save more lives from heart disease - the single biggest killer of Kiwi mums and dads.
Peter's luck flies high
Peter Port is not the type to get rattled easily. After a distinguished career in the New Zealand Air Force and RAF, the Masterton man with the charming manners and hearty laugh is ready for anything. So when the Heart Foundation called and asked if he was sitting down, Peter naturally took it in his stride.
"I thought maybe I'd won a trip." Peter recalls. But when he learned that he'd just won the grand prize of a new home in Cromwell, even Peter was blindsided. "I've never won anything in a lottery, let alone a house!" he laughs. "I really did have to sit down for a minute!"
A veteran supporter of the Heart Foundation Lottery, Peter bought his first ticket back in 1997. "It's such an important service and I'm happy to lend my support," he explains.
Peter and Carol plan to sell their new home. "Cromwell is lovely," Peter says, "but we're settled in Masterton and I'm sure someone will love living there."
Sharing the aroha
Life is full of surprises, just ask Harris and Matthew Moana. In January, the brothers received some incredible news - they had won a new Toyota RAV4 in Heart Foundation Lottery No. 126.
"It still doesn't seem real," Harris says. "We went to Mum's and she handed us the phone. The Heart Foundation was on the other end, telling us we'd won a new car! I thought, 'this must be some kind of joke!'"
The brothers didn't realise it at the time, but it was the thoughtful actions of their father that had brought them together for the good news. "Dad had been quietly buying the tickets," Matthew says, "but he was putting our names on them."
They have some encouraging words of advice for Heart Foundation Lottery supporters.
"It's a great cause," Harris says. "And who knows - if it can happen to us, it could happen to you!"
'A better life for our kids'
A young couple's dream of spending less time working and more time with their children has come true, thanks to their first prize win in Lottery No. 125.
The Blenheim pair, who have two children under 10, are still processing what it means to have won a stunning new Jennian home in Taupo.
"It's literally changed our lives, as cliché as that sounds. It’s made it easier, and it's made a better life for our kids. Our minds are racing at the possibilities."
The husband and wife team work together and were in the office when that life-changing phone call came through in early November 2020.
"I was doing paperwork when her phone rang. She said to me, 'I don’t know who this is', and she had some hesitation about whether to answer.
"And then all of a sudden I see her welling up, with her hand over her mouth in astonishment. Then she said, 'We've won a house!' It's just one of those things you never expect to happen to you."
Both in their early 30s, their long-term goal was to work hard and become mortgage-free by 50 — a reality that's arrived much sooner.
"Prior to this, we were in the day-to-day drudgery of going to work, getting the pay packet, putting it away on the mortgage, and trying to use the remaining dollars to give our kids a memorable upbringing.
"The home has given us options and made life much more comfortable — we don’t have to worry as much now."
The couple were on the same page in wanting to keep the home, and their new tenants have just moved in.
"With that consistent income each week, we want to reduce our work hours and be there more for the kids."
But before renting their home out, the family enjoyed a few blissful weeks in Taupo, falling in love with both the property and location.
"The way the house is built and the external colours are just right up our alley. There are a lot of aspects to the home that we really love."
Although neither of them had spent much time in Taupo previously, they’re now thinking of possibly moving up there one day, when the kids are older.
"It's an amazing spot and there are so many cool things for the kids. There's a lot more there than where we live now, particularly for teenagers. What we like is being so close to the lake, being able to go for swims, and walking along the lake pathway."
The couple have kept the news quiet, telling only their family and some close friends.
"And obviously our work colleagues know — there was no keeping that from them because the bombshell hit at work!"
With a history of heart disease in their family, the pair plan to continue supporting the Heart Foundation, starting with collecting for this year’s Big Heart Appeal.
"We're just so grateful for what they do. We have heart issues on both sides of our family, so if we can help out in any way, why wouldn't we?
"We just want to say a massive, massive 'thank you' to the Heart Foundation."
A golfer's paradise
The lucky winner of the first prize in Lottery No.124 is looking forward to checking out the golf courses around her new Whitianga home.
The keen golfer and regular visitor to the Coromandel, loves the region’s warm climate so is thrilled to have a permanent base in the busy township.
When asked what she likes best about her Jennian home, the New Plymouth resident says she "loves everything about it".
Like many of our supporters, personal experience with heart disease drives her commitment to the Heart Foundation's work.
"I lost my dad to congenital heart failure and this prompted me to support a charity that works for the betterment of heart health."
Lynette receives the keys to her first-prize home from Jennian Homes Northland Jody Yakas
Win an unexpected surprise
A loyal Heart Foundation supporter, Lynette doesn't bother to check her tickets after the Lottery results are announced.
As she explains, it's not that she thought she'd never win but rather that buying the tickets was akin to donating to heart research and not something she followed-up. So, the Waikato resident was very surprised when she learned she'd won the Lottery No.123 home at One Tree Point in Northland.
Lynette's support of the Heart Foundation's work began many years ago, in recognition of the treatment her father experienced after a heart event in his late-40s.
She is reluctantly selling the property due to travelling distance but says its sale will give her and her husband many new options.
"It's such a lovely home in a beautiful part of the country, I'm sure it will make someone very happy to live there."
Jeff receiving the keys to his first-prize Jennian dream home from Mark Smale, Jennian Nelson Bays.
Home Sweet Home
When we caught up with Jeff, he was finishing unpacking boxes and about to relax in the sunshine on the patio of his brand-new Nelson home to enjoy a bowl of home-made chicken soup.
Winning Lottery No. 122 was both a timely and life-changing “absolute stroke of luck” for this long-term Heart Foundation supporter.
Formerly living in Auckland and working in the tourism industry, Jeff’s employment was uncertain due to the impact of Covid-19. When the amazing news of his win reached him on the first day of lockdown, Jeff says it felt like going from “pretty dire straits to rolling in clover”.
Jeff kept quiet about his win for many weeks as one of the first people he wanted to share his good fortune with was his 94-year-old mum, whom he couldn’t visit as she lives in a rest home. She was thrilled for him and immediately asked, “Well, when are you moving in?”
That's just what Jeff decided to do. Since the shift, he has met his neighbours and is laughing about needing a roster for friends and family wanting to come and stay in the country's sunniest region.
Supporting heart research
Heart Foundation Lottery No. 121 winner Chrissie is grateful to be contributing to a cause that recognises the importance of heart research.
The long-time ticket buyer has had first-hand experience of the pain caused by heart disease. She sadly lost her dad to a heart attack and a few years ago performed CPR on her husband, while waiting for the paramedics, when he had a heart attack at home.
“Our support has never been about trying to win a prize; we are giving to a cause that is advancing important research that will save lives. We are also very grateful to Jennian Homes for recognising and supporting such a cause.”
The Bay of Plenty couple has enjoyed a couple of weekends away in their new Whitianga home and their four adult children are also looking forward to spending time there with their own families.
It's taken awhile for the news to sink in, but Auckland couple Maureen and Ken are over the moon with their win in Lottery No.120 – a Jennian dream home in Wanaka.
They say it is unbelievable that this life-changing event happened to them.
"After learning the news and hanging up the phone, I even got Ken to check the date of the draw - just to make sure it was real." says Maureen.
"It was a relief to find out it was the same day as the draw date!"
The couple has supported our work for many years through the Lottery programme and donations.
"We've always like to support New Zealand-based charities and the work that the Heart Foundation does in research and awareness is so very important."
They plan to sell the house and use the proceeds to fund their move into a nearby retirement village to be closer to family.
"We are so fortunate that this happened."
Lottery win a blessing
Winning the Jennian dream home in Papamoa was the last thing on Doreen’s mind when she answered a call from the Heart Foundation.
At the time the retiree from Haruru was in a café enjoying a coffee and she accidentally hung up on our call.
"I remember thinking, I’ll ring them back when I get home," Doreen says. "I got such a shock when I was told the news that I said 'you must be joking!' Thank goodness I didn'’t take the call when I was out."
Doreen and her husband Doug were both in a state of disbelief and decided not to tell their four children about the life-changing win until they’d received the official paperwork.
The couple plans to sell the home and use the proceeds to fund the move back to their hometown of New Plymouth, where two of their children live.
"The win has really been such a blessing," says Doreen.
‘Dream file’ came true
Ever since she started supporting the Heart Foundation Lottery, Annalisa Fiore-Meech has filed her tickets in a folder she called her “dream file”.
But the Aucklander never thought she’d receive the news, like she did recently, telling her she’d won a Jennian dream home at Taupo.
“I’d always keep my fingers crossed on the day the winner was announced, but I didn’t buy the tickets thinking I would win, I bought them to support the Heart Foundation’s marvelous work,” she says.
Annalisa is still on cloud nine after visiting her new home.
“The house is absolutely fantastic, it’s well-built and finished so well. I love the extra care taken to provide lovely special touches,” she says.
Annalisa’s two adult children are also thrilled with their mum’s good fortune, and preparations are afoot for a family Christmas at the Taupo home.
A life-changing win
Waipukurau couple, Neil and Sue say they feel “incredibly privileged” to have won the first prize in Lottery No. 117, a Jennian dream home in Blenheim.
They began purchasing Heart Foundation Lottery tickets after a close friend had a heart issue.
“We saw it as a way to contribute to the research and medical skills that helped him during such a challenging time. It is amazing to see how much good is done by the Heart Foundation and the progress that has been made in terms of research and treatment,” says Sue.
The couple popped down to Marlborough to check out their prize and, as a builder, Neil was very impressed with the home’s overall design and finishing.
Due to distance, they have decided to put the home on market but say the win has been life-changing for their whole family.
“We will be able to help our two adult children who are at the stage of trying to buy their first homes and set ourselves up for our impending retirement. This win has been an amazing opportunity for our family.”
Lottery No. 116 first-prize winner, Betty Ditfort with husband, Ray and daughter, Christine
After both experiencing heart events in the past, Betty and Ray know the value of the Heart Foundation’s work; to them supporting the Lottery was a way of supporting the charity.
While Betty had “a feeling” she was going to one day win the Lottery’s first prize, the Nelson couple was still amazed to learn that they had won a fully-furnished Jennian dream home in the Bay of Islands.
“I didn’t know what to say when I got the call, I passed the phone over to my son while I tried to make sense of it,” says Betty. “We were all just so happy.”
Betty began buying tickets in the Heart Foundation Lottery after knowing a number of people who had had heart attacks, and seeing how the organisation had provided support for them.
“There would be people not alive today if not for the Heart Foundation’s funding of research and the information it provides. What would we do without its work?”
She was also grateful for the Foundation’s work after her own heart event several years ago and Ray’s more recent heart attack.
The couple’s daughter, Christine, has been up to stay at the home, describing it as “lovely” and “of a very high standard”. Due to distance, the family has decided to sell the home.
Christine and Ross receive the keys to their Pauanui dream home from Hayley Trebilco from Jennian Homes Coromandel
At first Christine thought the call to tell her and her husband that they had won a Jennian dream home in Pauanui was a hoax.
“Someone calling me to tell us that we’d won a house was really the last thing I thought I’d hear when I answered the phone. Even now it’s still hard to believe.”
The couple has been purchasing tickets for a number of years, recently increasing the number of tickets they buy, and believe it is a good way to contribute to the work of the Heart Foundation.
They have already spent a couple of nights staying in their new home and love it – especially the decor, which Christine says are colours and styles she would pick for herself. They were also impressed with the home’s handy location – a short walk to the water and the shops.
A keen croquet player, Christine has already checked out the local club as well as walking trails.
The nearly-retired couple had been about to buy a campervan for trekking around the country, but have shelved that plan now that they have a conveniently - located beach house to escape to.
Sue receives the keys to her new Lake Hawea home from Carl Hamilton of Jennian Homes.
Sue was determined to win one of our Lottery homes as part of her retirement plan, so when she saw we were trying to get hold of her, her heart began to race.
“The person from the Heart Foundation couldn’t reach me on the phone, so she sent me an email to make contact…when I opened the message on a break, I had my fingers crossed that she was calling me to say we’d won a home,” she says.
Sue, who is a Kiwi, and her husband, Graham, are presently working in live-in roles on one of Australia’s Yarra Valley prestigious estates. They plan to finish their roles shortly and move back to New Zealand to live in the Lake Hawea house.
“We are planning to sell the home and move closer to family, but it is just wonderful having a place to move back to, and such a nice one at that.”
Sue sadly lost her mum to heart disease and also worked previously as a cardiac nurse. She says the decision to support the Heart Foundation nearly ten years ago by purchasing Lottery tickets was easy.
“I saw first-hand the effects of heart disease and know how important it is to be aware of your heart health. The Heart Foundation does such a lot of good work in this space.”Buy Tickets