Pacific

Powerball winner stunned, winds up in hospital with case of 'euphoria'

A man in New Zealand who won millions in the Powerball jackpot had to be rushed to the hospital for what his doctor called "a case of euphoria."

Lou Te Keeti saw an email Sunday from MyLotto saying he had won, but figured it was a minor prize. When he finally called, Te Keeti found out he’d hit the $10.3 million ($7.67 million U.S.) jackpot.

Still, it didn’t seem real.

“I hadn’t really believed it until it hit my bank account. I was still thinking this might be a hoax," he told the New Zealand Herald.

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Then, he said, he saw several zeroes added to one of his accounts and thought, "Whoa, this is for real."

Te Keeti, of Tauranga, a coastal town on the North Island, told the newspaper that he still headed off to do his usual grocery shopping, but started to have “flutters.”

“I was feeling not myself, quite strange, and they got me in an ambulance and I had all these tests and stayed a night in Tauranga Hospital.”

The Herald reported that he didn’t tell the doctors who treated him that he had just won, but one doctor told him he had “a case of euphoria.”

Te Keeti, who is in his 70s, is planning a special 50th anniversary wedding celebration next year with his wife, Val, their four adult children and seven grandchildren.

He also said he will use his winnings to take care of his family, his church and his community.

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It took time for his wife, Val, to get used to the big win, too. Te Keeti made plans to replace their home of 30 years, where they had raised their family, with a much larger place.

“I thought I would surprise Val by giving her a dream house and got all these plans to get architects and designers and what not,” he said to the Herald.

But instead, she told him to “get stuffed with my fancy plans.” Te Keeti said she touched the walls of their home and said, "Lou, a big fancy house, that is not us, this is us."

He said he doesn’t want a lot of material things, but needs a new car and also wants to help fix the pathways in the community’s cemetery.

In addition to setting aside money for some charities, he and his wife have always wanted to go to the Melbourne Cup, and Te Keeti, who used to play golf but had to give it up, would like to take it up again. They may also breed thoroughbreds, a breed they have always loved.

“It is a passion that brings us together, so we will do that,” he said.