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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.”
Dale, together with her daughter Laura and two grandchildren, receive the keys to their new home from Haley from Jennian Homes Coromandel.
Dale Campbell still checks the official letter every so often, just to make sure she’s not dreaming, and she did win a fully-furnished home in the Heart Foundation Lottery.
The South Auckland nurse was the lucky winner of Lottery No. 113, a Jennian dream home at Whitianga valued at $685,000.
“It’s still quite surreal – even when we were staying at the house I couldn’t believe our good fortune. It makes me smile now just thinking about it.”
Dale, her daughter Laura and two young grandchildren spent an “amazing” three days holidaying in the home after receiving the keys. She says everything about it from the layout, to the view was superb.
“I began buying tickets nearly 20 years ago, after my dad passed away from a heart event,” Dale says. “I really appreciate all the Heart Foundation does, particularly in education after a heart event. Education is so important for patients and their family.”
Due to distance, Dale will be reluctantly selling the home in the near future, but the win has “opened up the doorway for change” for her and her family’s future for which she is incredibly grateful.
Lucky winner Richard receives his keys from John MacDonald, Jennian Cambridge.
The Parsons family has been able to share their dad’s Lottery No. 112 first-prize win of a Jennian dream home in Taupo.
The location means it’s a handy spot for parents Richard and Helen to travel from Cheviot to meet for family gatherings with their adult children, who live around the country.
Richard suspected the phone call from the Heart Foundation, telling him he’d won a home worth $675,000, was really his daughters winding him up, but once the news sunk in Richard quickly got on the phone to share his good fortune.
The sheep and beef farmer says his own heart event seven years ago saw him become a regular supporter of the Heart Foundation’s Lottery programme.
The Lottery No. 111 first prize Jennian dream home in Papamoa
We were unable to reach the first prize winner from Lottery No. 111 by phone to share the exciting news, so the first she knew of her good fortune was when her ‘winner’s pack’ arrived in the mail.
“I couldn’t believe it,” says the lucky Aucklander. “I had to phone my daughter to ask her what she made of all this information telling me about a new house that belonged to me.”
Thankfully, after getting in contact with the Heart Foundation any lingering doubts were cleared up and she was very excited to confirm that she was indeed the owner of a Jennian dream home in Papamoa.
The winner, who has been auto-buying tickets in the Lottery since her own heart surgery in the 1990s, has already spent a few days enjoying her beautiful new home and planning a longer holiday with her grandchildren.
Daryl O’Reilly from Jennian Homes Nelson Bays hands Roger the keys to his first-prize home in Golden Bay.
Wellingtonian Roger Stevenson couldn’t believe it when he found out he had won the first prize Golden Bay home in Heart Foundation Lottery No. 110.
“I’ve been known to win the chicken in the pub raffle once or twice, but that’s as far as it went. Winning a new house was on a whole other level,” Roger says.
He travelled to Golden Bay, near the top of the South Island, with his friend Brian for the handover of the house keys.
Roger, who has a son and two grandchildren, became a widower in 2016 and moved into a retirement home in Lower Hutt. He has been auto-buying Lottery tickets since 1996 to support life-saving research into heart disease in New Zealand.
Roger predicts quite a few other residents will be joining him in buying tickets from now on!
The Lottery No. 109 first prize Jennian dream home in Cooks Beach
When our Lottery No. 109 winner surprised his wife with the first prize of a new house, it was a double shock for her as she had no idea he was auto-buying tickets.
“My wife hadn’t realised I’d been buying tickets regularly. We were both so surprised and grateful to actually win a brand new Jennian home at Cooks Beach.”
The Palmerston North winner’s association with the Heart Foundation dates back to the 1990s when he had a quadruple bypass, the first of many heart related issues over the years.
“Even before I won I was very happy buying tickets, knowing that I was supporting such a worthwhile organisation,” he says.
Lottery No. 108 winner, Noeline receives the house keys from Daryl O’Reilly, Jennian Nelson.
Noeline has fond memories of picking fruit in Mapua as a teenager, so was thrilled to be reacquainted with the region when she collected the keys to her first prize home.
Together with her granddaughter, Sophie, Noeline travelled to the South Island coastal village and stayed for a few nights in her new Jennian dream home.
The Te Kuiti resident says receiving the phone call where she and her husband learnt about their good fortune still seems a “bit unbelievable”.
“We’ve been buying Lottery tickets for 22 years, but never thought we would receive such a life-changing phone call,” says Noeline. “To us, supporting the Lottery was a way of donating to the work of the Heart Foundation.”
Due to travelling distance the couple has made the “sad but practical” decision to sell the property.
“We consider ourselves very privileged to have won such an amazing prize.”
Our winner, Anne with Will from The Hits and Haley from Jennian Homes Coromandel.
Anne Clinch could barely believe her luck when told she had won a fully-furnished Jennian dream home in Whitianga. The Masterton resident began buying tickets in 2001, shortly after her husband had heart surgery, as a way to give back to the Heart Foundation.
Anne’s daughter Marilyn Morrison says the information and support offered to people living with heart disease by the Heart Foundation was beneficial to the family following their dad’s heart surgery.
“When you leave the hospital you need to know that there is reliable information and support available,” says Marilyn.
At the house handover, Anne discovered there was something extra special about her first prize - it is the 50th house built by Jennian for the Heart Foundation Lottery since they teamed up in 2009.
Harishchandra and his wife, Ranjana with Shane Hamilton from Jennian Homes Southland.
Harishchandra Gandhi is following a family tradition of generously supporting charity, but he never thought it would result in winning a $915,000 Jennian dream home in Queenstown.
The benevolent Wellington family man was stunned into silence when the Heart Foundation called, initially dismissing the extraordinary news as a scam.
Once it had sunk-in, Harishchandra shared the life-changing news with his wife, Ranjana. The couple then shared their good fortune with their two sons, two daughters-in-law and four grandchildren.
“We had always hoped to have a family home for holidays. This is a dream come true,” he says.
Harishchandra has never won anything before and definitely didn’t expect to win the Heart Foundation Lottery’s first prize. For him, being an Auto-Buyer was a way to regularly donate to the Heart Foundation’s work.
“We are incredibly blessed to have won such an amazing prize. The home is stunning and we will be keeping it for the family,” he explains.
Lyn McDonald receiving her new house keys from Shane Lye, Jennian Homes, BOP
When busy Lyn McDonald found out she had won Lottery No. 105's first prize, she made a quick call to her mum, saying, "I can't talk right now, but I've just won a house!"
Her news was met with scepticism by her family, with someone even telling her daughter that it was a scam. But it was all very real, especially when Lyn received the keys to her brand new Papamoa dream home. She celebrated this special moment with a number of her family and party poppers and sparkling grape juice to toast the new home.
"I wrote 'Lyn won this, woohoo!' on the house picture," Lyn says. "And it obviously worked."
A deserving winner, Lyn is quite well-known around Auckland having run a bird rescue service there for some years. "I've spent 32 years in bird rescue," she says, "and many locals have brought me a bird to care for at some stage."
Lyn says her new home will be great for family to stay at when visiting her mother, who lives in Papamoa, as well as for holidays at the beach.
Gerard Richardson and partner, Sarah Smith, receiving the keys to their new Mangawhai home from Jody Yakas, Jennian Homes Northland
Our Lottery 104 Mangawhai home winner, Gerard Richardson knows first-hand how important the work of the Heart Foundation is after having a heart attack a couple of years ago.
With a family history of heart disease, Gerard had already been supporting our work through the Lottery programme for many years prior to his event. But when his heart attack happened “out of the blue”, he really saw the value of our commitment to research and specialised training for cardiologists.
“Everyone, from the researchers to the doctors and other medical staff, all do such an amazing job,” he says.
Having never visited the Northland town before, Gerard and his partner Sarah Smith spent a couple of weeks relaxing in the house and enjoying being tourists exploring Mangawhai.
“The house is great, it’s a nice size and in a lovely location. We just walked in, plonked ourselves down and relaxed.”
Sue Bielby and Ricky Rutledge at their new Pauanui home
When we tracked down the winners of our Lottery No. 103 Pauanui dream home, they were already holidaying in the Coromandel.
Ricky Rutledge and Sue Bielby say they love the Coromandel. “We holiday there with friends every year in a rented bach and have often fantasised about owning a holiday home there,” says Sue.
A long-term supporter since the early days of the Heart Foundation Lottery, Sue says, “As a part-time GP, I know that even though heart disease isn’t as high profile as cancer, it kills many more New Zealanders. My own mum died last year of heart disease and Dad had open heart surgery the year before.”
In fact Sue says that she and Ricky have twice performed life-saving CPR on people suffering heart failure – once at an airport and most recently at a friend’s birthday party. “It’s so worthwhile and rewarding,” she adds. “I’d encourage everyone to learn.”
Sue says she, Ricky and their children are looking forward to family holidays in their brand new Coromandel home.
Monica Storey receiving the keys to her new home from Daryl O'Reilly, Jennian Nelson Bays
Te Aroha resident Monica Storey, the winner of Lottery No. 102, travelled to Motueka with her daughter and her daughter’s partner to accept the keys to her first prize home. Well prepared with a nice bottle of bubbly to celebrate, Monica and her family stayed on for a week’s holiday.
“I’m looking forward to finding a good meal of Blue Cod now I’m in the South Island,” she says.
On the day of her win Monica was out with her sister, who was so excited by her news she couldn’t help but tell complete strangers, “This lady has just won a house!”
Sadly, Monica lost her husband four years ago. She says he must have been looking after her ‘from above’ and would have loved her new property. In fact, it was decorated in the same colour scheme as their very first home together.
Monica says her husband’s family has a history of heart disease and she has been a regular Heart Foundation Lottery supporter for more than 16 years.
Lottery No. 101 winners, David and Karen, receiving the keys to their new Taupo home from Mike Riddle, Jennian Homes South Waikato
On the day of the Lottery No. 101 draw, we tried unsuccessfully to contact our winner, David, of Auckland. He finally called us back late that evening and we were able to share the wonderful news.
David says he and his wife, Karen, were left so excited about their win that they couldn't sleep all weekend. "We are overwhelmed by our good fortune and so grateful to have won," he says.
To celebrate, the couple organised a family holiday with their parents to coincide with receiving the keys to their new Jennian dream home in Taupo. "We had a lovely week enjoying the Wairakei Thermal Pools, Huka Falls, Craters of the Moon geothermal walk and the cycle-walkway around the lake. I even had a go at mountain biking, " David says.
The couple plan to rent out their new property as a holiday home when they're unable to put it to good use themselves.
Deb Maloney receiving the keys to her new Queenstown home from Carl Hamilton, Jennian Homes Southland
Deb Maloney, from Palmerston North, was hard to reach when we tried to call to let her know she had won our landmark Lottery No. 100 first prize home in Queenstown. In fact as the hours passed and we kept calling, Deb was even considering blocking our number because we hadn't left a message.
"When I finally did answer, I couldn't quite believe what the voice on the other end of the phone was telling me!" Deb says.
The winner of Lottery No. 99 was very cool, calm and collected when we phoned to tell him he had won a Jennian dream home in Omokoroa. But he called back 10 minutes later to say "I’m in shock and didn’t think the call was true!" Kevin is a generous supporter of the Lottery, having consolidated his donations in favour of the Heart Foundation many years ago.
Grace, the winner of the Heart Foundation Lottery No. 97 dream home in Whitianga, found she and her husband were too excited to sleep the night she won. A long-term Auto-Buyer from Tauranga, Grace says that her Lottery support has always been about helping an organisation that might help her father in the future.
"When I took the call I didn’t quite believe it," said Carole Strain, the winner of the Lottery No. 95 first prize dream home in Wanaka. Carole started buying tickets in 2001 after both her father and father-in-law suffered heart attacks.
"It was only ever a donation," she said. "I didn’t expect to win!"
Graeme and Irene Percy said winning the Heart Foundation Lottery No. 94 dream home in Kinloch was an "incredible feeling". This kind-hearted Blenheim couple have fostered 93 children and spent many years helping troubled youth.
Betty Dix discovered she had won first prize in Heart Foundation Lottery No. 93 on the third anniversary of her mother’s passing, which she said made it even more special. A long-term Lottery supporter, Betty and her husband Trevor won a Jennian dream home in Whangamata.Buy Tickets