Thoroughly ordinary millionaires
Every month, a thoroughly ordinary New Zealander gets a call from the Bonus Bonds team to tell them they’ve won a million dollars. Find out about some of our prize winners’ stories right here.
The call that can change lives
Calling a Bonus Bonds customer to let them know they've won a million dollars can be a life changing experience – both for the winner and for the ANZ branch manager who gets to make the call.
We put together a video to share what it feels like to tell someone they're 1 million dollars richer.
February 2018, Hamilton
Set to buy his kids' their first home with $1 million Bonus Bonds win
A rural Hamilton man has won the grand prize of $1 million in February’s Bonus Bonds draw.
The winner says his first big purchase will be helping his kids in to their first homes. “My kids are currently spending so much money on rent, so I’d like to be able to support them and get them into their own places.”
He is also looking at purchasing a property for himself as he’s lived in his current home for over 25 years: “I raised my family in this house, and now I’m thinking of selling it, my kids all want to buy it!”
The winner's family still can’t believe he’s won the grand prize.
“I immediately rang my daughter after hearing the incredible news, but she didn’t believe me, she said ‘Dad they’re pulling your leg!’”
The winner received his first Bonus Bond fifteen years ago as a Christmas gift at his former workplace, “I continued to buy them after that and will definitely be reinvesting some of my winnings back into Bonus Bonds.”
“I’ve given each of my kids a portion of the winnings, and bought my son some new tyres. The win has meant I can pay off some bills so I’m all squared up,” comments the winner.
December 2017, Waikato
Life-changing $1 million Bonus Bonds win for Waikato family
A Waikato woman is taking her family on their first proper holiday after winning the top prize of $1 million in the latest Bonus Bonds draw.
“When my kids were growing up we were known as the ‘stay at home family’. Now we can finally have the holiday I always wanted.”
She said sharing the news with her family was exciting and emotional. “After I found out I danced around, squealing at the top of my lungs and squeezing and hugging my husband. I rang my oldest daughter and we couldn’t stop laughing and crying.
“Then my younger daughter arrived home and we hugged each other and jumped up and down in the sunshine. Even our little dog got in on the excitement!”
The winner said the prize will help take away the stress of daily life for her and her family. “I will be able to work because I want to, not because I have to, and help my family if hard times come along.
“My mum is about to start radiation therapy so I’ll be able to give her a stress-free Christmas. I’ll also be able to help my daughter with a deposit for her first home, and help my grandchildren enjoy a good education and a comfortable and exciting childhood.
“I know it sounds crazy but I always believed I would win,” she said. “It has changed my life. And because of that, it will change the lives of my children and grandchildren too.”
August 2017, Waikato
Eight-year-old girl, $100,000 richer after Bonus Bonds draw
An eight-year-old girl, from the Waikato region, has won $100,000 in the latest Bonus Bonds draw.
The winner’s mother said the win was very exciting for their family and her youngest daughter, the Bonus Bonds August prize winner.
“It means less worry for us. I would be concerned for the girls if something happened to me. I am a single mum you see and my mum has cancer.
“The win means there is an extra financial buffer for my youngest daughter. It takes the pressure off, knowing that she will be well set up for the future.”
The mother of two plans to invest the money for her daughter who can access it when she is older.
The winner is still unaware of what the prize will mean for her, says her mum.
“My daughter just wanted to spend the money on buying me a new car, and saving our dog from being put down, but I won’t be touching the money - it’s not mine to spend.”
The daughter’s 92-year-old great-grandmother bought her the winning bond, and has been buying them for her family for years.
“She has got so much enjoyment out of the win. She has been telling all of her friends at church that her gift won her great-grandchild $100,000,” said the girl’s mother.
July 2017, Auckland
Three sisters from Auckland win $1 million in Bonus Bonds
Three sisters under 25 from St Heliers have won one million dollars in June’s Bonus Bonds draw, after their father purchased Bonus Bonds for them with money gifted from their late Oma [Grandmother].
All three daughters are planning to buy their own home with their portion of the winnings.
The father of three said that no one believed him at first.
“I had a bottle of champagne and takeaways ready when they arrived, so of course they wanted to know what we were celebrating. I told them that we had won some money from their Oma’s Bonus Bonds and to guess how much.
“They started guessing $2,000, so I told them to go higher. By $50,000, they were screaming. By $100,000, they were hysterical and still not even close! So we told them at that point – it was a fantastic moment,” says the father.
“My wife has said that my stature has actually changed since the win. I feel a weight has lifted from my shoulders knowing that my girls will be set up well for the future,” says the father.
The St Helier’s father plans to continue the family Bonus Bonds tradition, continuing to invest with his wife and give bonds as gifts to family and friends.
“It was a very special surprise to find out that the bonds originating from Oma’s estate had won the big one million dollar prize,” he says.
May 2017, Dunedin
Dunedin local wins one million dollars in May Bonus Bonds draw
A Dunedin man has won the big cash prize of one million dollars through Bonus Bonds latest monthly draw.
The Dunedin winner was in disbelief when he got the call from ANZ telling him he had won.
“When I was told the news I felt like I couldn’t breathe properly I was in shock, so the lady said she would call back in 15 minutes.
“Even after a second phone call telling me the news I didn’t believe it. I didn’t sleep all night. I kept thinking, I misheard her, it was probably one hundred thousand dollars not one million,” said the man.
The winner has decided he will give $25,000 to his mum and re-invest $25,000 back into Bonus Bonds, keeping the remainder in the bank for now.
“I will definitely buy myself a new wheelbarrow and a good pair of second-hand garden boots but other than that, I don’t have much else I need,” he commented.
He said through saving most of the winnings he will be able to live off the interest and reduce his hours working as a gardener and caregiver.
“It’s changed my life, because I haven’t got a worry in the world now. It’s a fantastic feeling. I’m not going to go mad, I’ll keep a level head, and it’s not going to change me. I’m still going to be running around with my wheelbarrow and looking after my family.”
The winner has been investing in Bonus Bonds since 2001 after he returned from a holiday in Australia and had left over money.
“I’ve invested a few thousand dollars over the years, and out of that I’ve won quite a few small prizes in Bonus Bonds draws, which is still a blast, but nothing like winning one million.
“When I used to go to the bank to invest my money in Bonus Bonds, the lady at the bank used to rub my Bonus Bonds between her hands and say, here you go it’s a lucky bond. It must have worked with one of those, because I definitely had a very lucky bond this time,” he said.
April 2017, Richmond
Retirement sweeter after $1 million Bonus Bonds win
A Richmond couple say winning $1 million in April’s Bonus Bonds draw couldn’t have been more timely.
The husband and wife, who wish to remain anonymous, reached retirement this year.
Last week they were paid a visit by a local ANZ staff member. “I thought he was here to see me about my KiwiSaver savings, since I had just turned 65. I got the fright of my life when he handed me the congratulatory letter from Bonus Bonds, saying I had won $1 million,” said the wife.
The couple have decided they will reinvest the money and not touch it for five months. “It gives us the chance to think clearly about how we want to spend it. It’s a lot of money, it will change things for us, we want to be wise,” she said.
However, the couple do have plans to shout their family a holiday.
“We thought it would be really special to be able to have the whole family, including grandchildren, on holiday together, so that will definitely be something we do with the money.”
The couple believe the biggest impact the win will have is on the way they will live in retirement.
“We can enjoy the little things more, like taking trips and dining out without having to worry about always eating into our savings.”
The couple won $5,000 when they initially invested in Bonus Bonds in the 1990s. They only had $10,000 invested in Bonus Bonds when they won $1 million. “We’ve had great odds so far … we’ll definitely be re-investing,” said the wife.
October 2016, Waitaki District
Oamaru couple wins Bonus Bonds
A South Island couple from the Waitaki District have won $100,000 in the latest Bonus Bonds draw. The first purchase the couple made with their winnings was flights to Ireland for their nephew’s wedding.The winner said when he first got the call about the $100,000 prize he thought it was a hoax.
“It wasn’t until I went down to the local ANZ branch and spoke to the guy there that is started to sink in,” he said.
The win couldn’t have come at a better time for the South Island couple.
“At the end of June I had been made redundant and then my wife has to take three months off work to have a hip replacement. I was starting to wonder how we would get through. My nephew then invited us to his wedding and we desperately wanted to go but didn’t think we would be able to make it a reality, but now we can,” said the winner.
The couple have been Bonus Bonds holders for 15 years and have decided to continue investing in it.
“We’ve actually just put the rest of the money back into Bonus Bonds. It’s been a great investment for us so far, so we thought, why not.”
August 2016, Christchurch
Christchurch toddler wins $1 million
A toddler has made history as the youngest-ever Bonus Bonds winner, claiming a whopping one million dollars in winnings.
The three-year-old and his family had just returned home from a holiday, when a call came through announcing he was the August Bonus Bonds winner.
The boy's mother, who wished to remain anonymous, said the news definitely helped them overcome their jet lag.
"My husband was literally pumping the air when he was on the phone.
"As soon as he got off and told me, we were running around, so thrilled. It was definitely a jump up and down moment.
"We always thought our boy was really special, he was born on Christmas Day, which is quite unique. And now he's the youngest Bonus Bonds winner to date," she said.
The couple had set up their son's Bonus Bonds account when he was born.
He had only $250 worth of Bonus Bonds that the mother's uncle had purchased for him.
The couple have been investing in Bonus Bonds for themselves for over ten years, and said they will continue to do so.
The oldest million-dollar Bonus Bonds winner is 92 years old.
June 2016, Albany
Albany couple receive $100,000 as a June Bonus Bonds winner
After recently selling their business, the Albany couple were not sure what their next investment plans would be. They chose to put their money in Bonus Bonds for the interim.
"We put the balance from selling our business back in to Bonus Bonds until we could decide what to do with it. It was that money that won the $100,000. It’s a fantastic return," says the couple.
When they received the phone call from ANZ they thought it was too good to be true.
"We thought, that can’t be right, we never win anything, it must be a hoax."
Sure enough, when they went into the Albany ANZ branch they found out it was very real.
The money will give the couple more financial security as they move into retirement.
"It’s a huge boost for us. I’ve retired and my husband is looking at retiring, so it will certainly help."
The win was also very timely, as they are planning a holiday in Europe. They are also looking forward to sharing the winnings with their family and being able to give some of it away.
"We like to be able to help other people, it’s part of our philosophy. We’re pleased we are able to do that and spread the earnings a little."
April 2016, Waihola
Waihola grandparent wins big with Bonus Bonds
Local Waihola grandparent could not believe their luck after receiving an exciting call from ANZ - winning $100,000 in the April Bonus Bonds draw.
"I was at home and the lady from ANZ rung me and I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was a prank call. I don’t usually have a lot of luck so I was very surprised," the winner commented.
"It took just a wee bit to sink in and then I started thinking about what I could do with it and it made me more excited. It’s a good feeling."
The winner plans to use some of the money to help their family.
"There will be quite a few benefits – I’d like to go buy a new car but I think I’ll keep the money to help my family. I’m coming up to retirement age and this will give a bit more security and I can see it put to good use with my children and grandchildren. They’ll really benefit from it."
The April winner has held Bonus Bonds for over 20 years and has said more money will be reinvested in Bonus Bonds, particularly for the family.
"I had won about $200 a while ago, which was great but this one is huge. This one just tops everything."
"I started getting Bonus Bonds for my grandchildren at Christmas time. This way they can make a choice if they want to buy something different when they are older, or they can leave it in there and keep building it, with a chance of winning a prize like their grandparent."
July 2015, Hamilton
Generous Hamilton local shares $100k Bonus Bonds win with friends
One fortunate Hamilton woman is shocked to hear of her enormous $100,000 win in a recent Bonus Bonds monthly prize draw, and has decided to share her good fortune with friends who she says "are struggling and deserve a treat".
The thoughtful winner says the reality of her prize took some time to sink in. When she first got the call from the ANZ representative she was elated, but after the call she began to doubt her luck.
"I did believe it [at first], but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was too good to be true. I was just stunned, I couldn't quite comprehend it. I mean, it's a lot of money!"
The big winner, who prefers to remain anonymous, has only held Bonus Bonds since 2010, and thought she was doing well when she won $80 - her biggest win before she received one of the top monthly prizes.
Although she wants to take some time to decide how to spend her money, she plans to help out a few friends who have had a run of bad luck, look at buying a new car and potentially paint the inside of her house.
Regardless of how she spends her winnings, the Hamilton local believes the win brings on the opportunity to live a completely different lifestyle.
"It's been a wonderful experience. The last couple of weeks have felt normal, which is strange. I'm the same person; I'm just $100,000 richer."
So far only close friends and family know about her recent winnings, but she plans on throwing a party to celebrate the news.
June 2015, Christchurch
Good times for $1m winners
Source: Nor-west News (01/06/2015)
A Burnside couple's quiet belief that they would one day win the big prize, proved correct when they won $1 million in a recent Bonus Bonds monthly draw.
The lucky couple have held Bonus Bonds since they were children, receiving them from friends and family as birthday presents. They hung onto their Bonus Bonds in the hope they would be the next big winners.
The couple were initially apprehensive when they received a call from their ANZ Bank Manager asking them to come into their local branch. Rather than being an issue with their bank accounts as they initially thought, they were told they had won $1 million.
"Words cannot really describe the joy and wonderful emotions that ran through our heads. We hugged each other and instantly had smiles so big they almost made our faces hurt," said the winner, who wants to remain anonymous.
The winners have donated a portion of their prize to World Vision and The Salvation Army, and are considering a longer list of charities they would like to support.
The prize has allowed the couple to pay off their sizeable mortgage and buy a new car for the first time. Next on the list are plans for overseas travel and are looking at exploring Europe and the United States.
"Normally when you're looking at overseas travel, you're looking at the price, but now we can look at the places we've always wanted to go to.
"Winning the Bonus Bonds first prize has been a life-changing event. One moment your options for the future may seem limited and then a split second later, the possibilities are almost endless."
Their ANZ branch has provided support and advice to help the couple to manage their winnings.
"They've assisted us to achieve some of our initial short-term goals and have provided us with sound advice enabling us to plan for the future."
To date, the youngest Bonus Bond holder to win $1 million was just seven-years-old and the oldest was 92.
Feb 2015, Motueka
Withdrawal mistake could have cost a million dollars
Source: The Tasman Leader (05/02/2015)
A Motueka man and his wife have won $1 million in the latest Bonus Bonds monthly draw, a draw they almost removed themselves from a few months prior.
The couple nearly exited the draw after accidentally withdrawing almost all of their bonds late last year, when they added an extra ‘0' to the withdrawal amount.
Realising his mistake, the now-winner reinvested the extra money back into the account, and it was this action that meant he was able to scoop up the whopping million dollar prize this year.
"We are absolutely thrilled to have won," said the winner, who preferred to remain anonymous.
"The latest draw could have worked out a bit differently if I hadn't reinvested the money. Life has been good to us."
When asked if he ever thought he would win the largest monthly prize, the man said he had always remained hopeful.
"We would often win small prizes each month. At one point someone we knew won $50,000, and that was exciting – but having money in Bonus Bonds kept a little dream alive, of one day winning the million dollar prize," he says.
The winner managed to surprise ANZ staff when they arrived at his door to tell him the good news, by jokingly saying, "Have you come to tell me I've won a million dollars?"
When they gave him the letter to read, he realised he had guessed correctly and rushed to share the news with his wife.
"It was then a case of hugs all round."
At this stage the winner would like to reinvest most of the money back into Bonus Bonds while he and his wife take time to decide what to use it for.
"My first love is property, so that is possibly something the money might go towards," he said.
Dec 2014, Murchison
Source: The Tasman Leader (11/12/2014)
Murchison locals Christine and Allen Peacock are thrilled to have won $25,000 worth of Bonus Bonds this month after investing in the savings scheme only four months ago.
"At first I thought the call must be about something business-related, but when the caller began talking about prizes I started to get excited," said Christine.
They didn't expect to win a prize so quickly, she said.
May 2014, Blenheim
$100k win for Blenheim woman
Source: Sun (01/06/2014)
A local woman is $100,000 richer after her Bonus Bonds paid out in the latest monthly draw. The woman, who prefers to remain anonymous, deposited $20 worth of Bonus Bonds with ANZ four years ago.
Her winnings are 5000 times higher than her deposits. She said she received the phone call with the good news at work, and failed to contain her excitement.
"I couldn't help yelling out in surprise when I got the phone call, and my colleagues' heads popped up at the window asking me if I was OK. "I had to share the exciting news."
She said she would take time to consider what to do with the money. "I might treat myself with a holiday and pay off my mortgage. The rest will stay in Bonus Bonds.
"It's lovely to know there is a bit of extra money if we need it."
The woman had used Bonus Bonds to invest for a long time, and had won a few smaller prizes along the way, but she said it was an "amazing feeling" to win this time around.
"I never imagined a $20 deposit could be enough to win the $100,000 prize.
"I've always used Bonus Bonds as a form of investment, and this has been a reminder of why that is." Bonus Bonds is a savings scheme paying out tax-free cash prizes instead of interest, and the bonds are eligible to win prizes one month after purchase.
April 2014, Northland
Another $50,000 winner
Source: Northern Advocate (03/05/2014)
Northland's amazing run of Bonus Bond success has continued, with a Mangonui woman winning $50,000 in the latest monthly draw.
The lucky woman was thrilled to receive news she has won the $50,000, the second Mangonui bond holder to secure the prize in just eight months.
The win follows a hugely successful 2013 for Northland Bonus Bond holders when $3,150,000 in major prizes went to the region, including two of $1 million.
Every month, Bonus Bonds pays out one prize of $1 million, one of $100,000, one of $50,000 and multiple prizes of $5,000, $500, $100, $50 and $20.
The latest big winner and her husband invested funds from their KiwiSaver into Bonus Bonds earlier this year, winning the large prize in the first month they were entered in the draw. The instant prize has come as a welcome shock for the couple, who prefer to remain anonymous.
"I have to keep pinching myself. Every now and then I pick up the letter and give it a kiss for good luck," the woman said.
The couple plan to reinvest their winnings in Bonus Bonds.
January 2014, South Island
Winner nearly hangs up on $1m
Source: Stuff.co.nz (26/02/2014 by Jody O'Callaghan)
A Canterbury man nearly discarded his $1 million Bonus Bond winnings after hanging up on a bank worker he thought was scamming him.
The man, who wants to remain anonymous, was struggling to support his family before finding out he had won in the latest monthly draw.
He can now pay off his debt and create a "nest egg" for his children, despite nearly denying his win after hanging up on the ANZ representative who called to inform him of his prize.
"I didn't want to give the caller my personal details over the phone to confirm who I was, so I thought it might be a scam and hung up," he said.
"When they rang again and said they really need to speak with me, and can I meet them in an ANZ branch, I started to think it might be good news."
The winner said the prize had come at a great time and that, at this stage, he has just told immediate family about his prize.
"There won't be any holiday plans or a new Mercedes in the driveway, but now I can sleep easy at night knowing that we can pay off our outstanding debt."
He wanted to set aside most of it for his children in case they wanted to go to university
"Knowing they will be in good shape if I die tomorrow has lifted a huge weight off our shoulders."
He was getting advice from a financial expert.
January 2014, Mount Maunganui
$100,000 prize after 44 years with a chance
Source: Bay of Plenty Times (01/02/2014)
A Mount Maunganui woman, who has had Bonus Bonds since 1970, has won $100,000.
The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, was one of the major winners of last month's prizes.
Each month Bonus Bonds pays out prizes of $1,000,000, $100,000 and $50,000 along with smaller prizes of $5000, $500, $100, $50 and $20.
The woman said she was thrilled to get a phone call to tell her she had won.
"The ANZ representative told me to sit down because she had some good news," the winner said. "I couldn't believe it when she told me how much I'd won. It's such an amazing surprise."
The woman said she had held Bonus Bonds since it first began in 1970 and said she enjoyed winning smaller amounts on a regular basis.
She said she always hoped to one day win one of the three major monthly prizes, but had never imagined what she would do with the money if she did.
"I'm making sure I take the time to think about what I want to do with it.
"At this stage, I am considering house renovations, an overseas holiday and it would be wonderful to share some with my family," she said.
"It's given me so much financial flexibility, it will definitely make a big difference to my life."
To date, the youngest Bonus Bond holder to win $1 million was just 7 years old and the oldest was 87.
A minimum investment of $20 gives Bond holders 20 chances to win every month.
Bonds can be kept indefinitely and there is no maximum number that may be held.
Bonds can be cash in at any time.
October 2013, Auckland
Source: North Shore Times (29/10/2013 by Liz Willis)
A million dollar phone call
A million dollar winner thought he was receiving a prank phone call when he got his good news.
The North Shore man, who wants to be anonymous, is $1 million richer after winning the September Bonus Bonds draw.
He says when the ANZ representative rang to tell him about his big win he didn't know whether to believe him.
"I thought it was a prank phone call."
"I asked him if he was pulling my leg, but he sounded so jovial I started to think it might be real."
The win couldn't have come at a better time, as he and his wife have been "scrimping and saving" for a trip overseas.
"It's made a big difference for us. We've always been a frugal family; we've had our heads down trying to save enough money for the trip and now we have the opportunity to splash out."
The winner plans to share his newfound fortune with his family, helping to pay off his children's mortgages and starting Bonus Bonds accounts for his grandchildren.
"It's great to be able to treat my family, having this win will definitely make a difference to their lives."
He is also considering a car upgrade and investing a portion back into Bonus Bonds.
September 2013, Whangarei
Source: The Northern Advocate (09/09/2013)
Big cash haul – what a bonus
Whangarei's amazing run of Bonus Bond success has continued with a $50,000 win last month making $3,150,000 in major prizes going to the district over the last nine months.
Every month, Bonus Bonds pay out one prize of $1 million, one of $100,000, one of $50,000 and multiple prizes of $5,000, $500, $100, $50 and $20.
Bonus Bonds created three instant Whangarei millionaires between December last year and June and a $100,000 prize was struck in the district earlier this year.
At the time, Bonus Bonds head Glenn Stevenson said Whangarei's run of success was unprecedented.
But in August, the $50,000 prize went to a Whangarei woman who was overjoyed at her success, meaning the district had pulled in $3,150,000 in major prizes in just eight months, on top of numerous smaller amounts.
The Whangarei ANZ representative who rang the latest $50,000 winner said the woman never expected to win such a big prize and what made it more amazing was that she only bought Bonus Bonds in January this year.
"I was completely stunned; it took a while to sink in. I was hoping to win one of the $1,000 prizes, so I'm very excited," the woman who won the big prize, but did not want to be named, told the Northern Advocate.
"It's happened so quickly, I'm feeling lucky. I'm going to go for the million now. It would be great to get it before Christmas," she joked.
The woman has kept news of the win relatively quiet, using a small portion to go out for a nice lunch and do some shopping, but she hopes to go travelling next year and potentially buy a new car.
"It's a great experience," she said.
August 2013, Gisborne
Source: Gisborne Herald (28/08/2013)
His big grin gave away his secret… he had won $100k.
A Gisborne man had to give away his secret when he could not stop grinning at work… he had just had a phone call from Bonus Bonds to tell him he had won $100,000 in the latest monthly draw.
The winner, who prefers to remain anonymous, says the news "came as a bit of a shock".
"They caught me off guard and I still feel a bit overwhelmed!"
When one of his colleagues commented "gee, you sound happy," the lucky Bonus Bonds holder had to share the news.
"It was always a dream to win but when it actually happened it came as a real surprise," he said.
He recently sold his property and was renting until he bought his next house. So the win came at a great time.
"It has given us more options. We'd only put the savings from selling our house in Bonus Bonds for a couple of months before we won one of the big prizes, so we are very happy we had such a quick result. I'd also like to get a boat… but I have to convince my wife first," he said with a laugh.
Despite letting the news slip at work, he has kept news of his win relatively quiet and has not yet told family or close friends.
Asked if he will keep some of his money in Bonus Bonds now that he has won, the winner replied, "heck yeah!"
The youngest Bonus Bond holder to win $1 million was seven years old and the oldest 87. Thousands of prizes are paid out each month.
July 2013, Christchurch
Source: Southland Times, Southland (24/07/2013)
$1m Bonus Bonds win to Chch woman in red zone
A Christchurch woman who planned to raid her pension to build a new home can now afford the ultimate upgrade after winning $1 million in Bonus Bonds.
The woman, whose property was red-zoned after the quake, said the odd $200 had "trickled in" over the 40 years she had been with Bonus Bonds.
Now, the stress of losing her home and the prospect of using her pension to rebuild a new one elsewhere was over.
"I'm completely numb," she said of her July 9 draw windfall.
"I am more excited about the different things I can put on the building now. I couldn't upgrade anything before, but I can now."
The woman, who declined to be named but described herself as an "older person", had not yet decided what she would do with the rest of the money.
However, a replacement for her quake-battered car and a trip overseas were on the cards.
"There are a whole lot of bits and pieces that I won't have to worry about now."
She was one of only a handful of people left on her street, and the timing could not have been better, she said.
Coincidentally, her nephew also won $50,000 in a recent Bonus Bonds draw.
"We've been fortunate. It's very strange how the wins were so close together. I never expected to win a prize of this size."
Bonus Bonds are an investment through the ANZ bank, where you receive no interest on savings, but you can win cash prizes.
To date the youngest Bonus Bond holder to win $1 million was just 7 years old and the oldest was 87.
It tops off a lucky month for the elderly, after 84-year-old Christchurch grandmother and Irish immigrant Mary won $125,000 when she spun Lotto's Winning Wheel at the weekend.
May 2013, Palmerston North
Source: The Tribune, Palmerston North (22/05/2013)
Bonus bonds win comes at best time
Who wouldn't be happy with a $50,000 bonus?
A Palmerston North woman is stunned and thrilled after winning $50,000 in the latest Bonus Bonds draw.
At first the woman, who wants to remain anonymous, couldn't believe the good news.
"When they rang me to tell me I'd won, I couldn't believe it. I just kept saying 'you're having me on, aren't you. Are you having me on?' It still hasn't sunk in properly yet."
She says the win couldn't have come at a more important time.
"It's been a real godsend."
"I was starting to consider withdrawing the bonds because I needed the money, so I couldn't be happier about the win."
The lucky Bonus Bonds holder plans to take a little time to decide what to do with her winnings, but she says she will be putting some of it towards urgent home and car repairs, a funeral plan, and to fix her teeth.
"It's really taken a weight off my shoulders. I don't have to worry about expensive maintenance costs like these any more, when before I was feeling really stressed out financials. It's incredible timing."
The winner also plans to keep some of her money in Bonus Bonds, and to make a donation to charity.
"I believe in sharing good fortune, no matter how large or small that fortune is. To me that's important."
Bonus Bonds has been around since 1970, paying out thousands of prizes each month with a top prize of $1 million, and single monthly prizes of $100,000 and $50,000, along with smaller multiple prizes ranging from $5,000 to $20.
May 2013, Levin
Source: Horowhenua Chronicle, Horowhenua/Kapiti (15/05/2013)
Hunch correct in $1m cash draw
A man from Levin who joked to a friend last month about a feeling he was going to win the $1 million prize in the May Bonus Bonds draw, couldn't believe it when he got the call to tell him he'd won exactly that.
"My first thought when I got the call was 'yeah, right'. I thought it was a hoax," said the winner, who prefers to remain anonymous.
"When I realised it was real, it felt too good to be true. It's all just so humbling."
The lucky Bonus Bonds holder and his wife often won smaller prizes of between $20 and $60 in the monthly draws, and said they were ecstatic when they once won $120.
"We always leave our winnings in Bonus Bonds to increase our changes of another win, but I had a feeling a big win was coming," said the winner.
At this stage he plans to keep news of the win quiet, and has only told a few family members.
"My daughter was very happy for me," he said.
"She told me I had to spend it on myself because I deserve it," said the winner, who is known for being generous.
"I enjoy sharing what I have with others. I want to take my mokopuna travelling so I can show them there's a big wide world out there.
"I'd like to visit Cuba, but my wife is thinking Thailand. We'd also like to build our assets."
"At this stage we are still figuring out exactly what to do with the winnings," he said.
Although the money no doubt opens up opportunities for the winner, he doesn't want it to change his life.
"I'm happy with my life, a win like this is incredible but I don't plan to change who I am."
To date the youngest Bonus Bonds holder to win $1 million was just 7 years old and the oldest was 87.
March 2013, Christchurch
Source: The Star, Christchurch (29/03/2013)
Wedding anniversary bonus
A lucky Christchurch couple couldn't believe it when they received a call to tell them they'd won $50,000 in the recent March Bonus Bonds draw while they were out for lunch celebrating their 24th wedding anniversary.
"My husband took the phone call outside and when he walked back in, all he said was 'we've just won $50k.' It was quite surreal," said Debra Chapman.
"I kept thinking, 'of all the days to get a phone call like that.' It really was the most incredible anniversary present."
Mrs Chapman and husband Tim have been planning to fix up parts of their house which suffered quake-damage and say the win comes at a great time for them.
"The win has opened up options for us. Now we can do what we want to do, as well as what we need to do which is nice," said Mrs Chapman.
"We would both love to go on holiday next year, and my husband wants a new 50in flat screen TV, but that's not high on the priority list," she joked. "It's certainly removed the stress from our lives."
In the meantime, the couple plan to keep their winnings in their Bonus Bonds account.
"We never thought we would win a prize like this, but now we are feeling lucky. We want to see if we can win the million next," says Mrs Chapman.
February 2013, Nelson
Source: Sarah Dunn, Nelson Leader (28/02/2013)
Alan's feeling lucky
When Nelson man Alan Jordan heard he had won $100,000 through Bonus Bonds, he couldn't believe his ears.
He had recently sold his home and was keeping some of the money in his Bonus Bonds account to boost his chances for a big win.
Bonus Bonds are a savings scheme run by ANZ Bank that pays out tax free cash prize rather than interest. Each $1 bond represents one chance to win, and each month the scheme pays out prizes ranging from $20 to $1 million.
"I didn't think it was real. It wasn't until the manager came around with a bottle of wine that I really got excited," said Alan, a mechanic who has had Bonus Bonds for 40 years. The windfall came only a month after he had placed the money from his house into the Bonus Bonds account.
Alan made an offer on a holiday home by Lake Rotoiti this week and plans to buy a boat and a couple of canoes once he is settled.
"It's opened up so many options. I have lots of ideas about what to do with the money. At the moment I feel pretty good about keeping it in the Bonus Bonds account," he said.
"It's given me the freedom to do what I want to do without running out of money."
Since his big win, Alan has also won a further $1,000 through his ANZ Serious Saver account.
"I'm feeling pretty lucky at the moment," he said.
December 2012, Whangarei
Source: Whangarei Leader (13/01/2013)
A woman considering the unemployment benefit has struck the big time with a
$1 million Bonus Bonds prize.
The Whangarei woman prefers to remain anonymous but says the windfall in December came after she finished a year of tertiary education but had not found a job. "It was perfect timing. I didn't believe it at first but when the local ANZ branch called to meet with me it became real." The woman started a Bonus Bonds account when she was 10 and recently inherited money which she also invested in bonds. Since then she has enjoyed winning monthly prizes between $20 and $160 but says the $1m prize came as a complete shock. "I feel really lucky. I know that only 12 customers get to feel like this a year so I feel very privileged." She says. At this stage she sees the win as a buffer that has lifted a huge load off of her shoulders and she is planning to live off the win for a while.
The youngest Bonus Bonds holder to win $1m was just seven years old and the oldest was 87.
Bonus Bonds pays out monthly prizes of $1m, $100,000, $50,000 plus multiple prizes of $5,000, $500, $100, $50 and $20.
The New Zealand brand was founded in 1970 as a savings scheme that pays out tax-free cash prizes rather than interest.
Each bond costs $1 and gives one chance to win each month, with a minimum investment of $20.
October 2012, South Auckland
Bonus Bonds jackpot goes to 19-year-old after parents forget to transfer ownership - but all family profit in end.
A South Auckland teenager has become a millionaire from an investment belonging to his parents because they didn't get around to transferring it into their names.
The 19-year-old from Papatoetoe, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he was in shock when he was told he had won the top prize of $1 million in the Bonus Bonds monthly draw. He hung up twice on the ANZ representative who rang him because he thought it was a practical joke.
"It wasn't until she rang a third time that I suspected she might be telling the truth. I was just basically in shock," he said.
His parents bought the $1500 in bonds from their son to help him buy his first car four years ago. But they never got around to transferring the bonds into their names.
"It was up to them but they never ended up doing it. I was a bit young to know about that sort of stuff."
He said there were no hard feelings. He had paid off their mortgage of almost $300,000. He has also bought a $19,000 car and a laptop, and a boat for his brother. The family were also looking at buying a new house.
"It would have been spent in exactly the same way anyway. They are happy as, to be honest. And I know that what's theirs is also mine, so I don't mind," the teenager said.
"We never ever in our wildest dreams thought this would happen. At the time we thought about going in and changing [the names] over," his mother said. But it was likely she would have simply withdrawn the amount in cash.
The parents had been buying Bonus Bonds for their two sons since they were 3 years old.
August 2012, Wanganui
A Wanganui couple is "absolutely thrilled" after receiving a phone call from their local ANZ Branch to tell them they won $50,000 in the August prize draw.
"When we found out about the $50,000 we were in such a shock. I had to ask the ANZ staff member to repeat the figure because I thought I must not have heard it right."
The couple has held Bonus Bonds for three years, each month winning $60 to $80 worth of prizes, but not in their wildest dreams did they expect to win such a large sum.
"There has only been one month where we haven't won at least a small prize. It's always such a thrill going to the letterbox to see if we we've won even $20," says the couple.
They have decided to keep a portion of their winnings with Bonus Bonds, give some to each of their two children and put the rest towards bathroom renovations.
Bonus Bonds offer the potential to win more in tax-free prizes than can be earned with most other savings accounts, as with Bonus Bonds there is the chance to win a share of thousands of cash prizes each month.
August 2012, Dunedin
Would you have trouble believing it was for real if you got a phone call to let you know you had won a major prize? That's exactly how one of our major prize winners from Dunedin felt when she found out she had won $50,000 in the August prize draw.
The woman says she was in shock when she received the news. "I had dreamed of a big win like this but it was completely unexpected.
The winner invested in Bonus Bonds to make sure she did not spend an inheritance she had received. She will keep the win in Bonus Bonds for now but plans to do some home renovations and travel overseas to see family.
Bonus Bonds offer the flexibility of being able to cash in the investment at any time and the chance to achieve enhanced investment returns through monthly prize draws.
June 2012, Waikato
Winner to help daughter have her dream wedding
One of the $100,000 winners from the June prize draw has decided to use her win on something very special.
She originally purchased the bonds to save for her daughter's wedding and then put them out of sight and out of mind, frequently winning small prizes, but nothing over $50.
"I loved getting the small prizes as well, but I remember when the last one came through, I said to my husband, 'Why can't I get more zeroes?' And then I got the phone call!"
Once she has helped with her daughter's wedding, the winner is yet to decide what to do with the remainder of her prize money, but is contemplating investing some of it back in to Bonus Bonds.
"The news is still sinking in; I'm going to enjoy planning what to do with the rest of the prize. It's a real gift."
Have you considered investing in Bonus Bonds to save for something special?
March 2012, Dunedin
Imagine finding out that you had won $50,000 from an investment you had forgotten about! That's exactly what happened to one lucky Bonus Bonds holder in our March draw.
This $50,000 winner from Dunedin held just $130 in Bonus Bonds. His mother had originally invested a small sum in Bonus Bonds for him a number of years ago, which he added to years later. Both were investments that had been forgotten about. Upon hearing the news that he'd won $50,000, our winner was quickly off to buy himself a much needed upgrade to his laptop and ponder what else to do with his winnings!
Could you have Bonus Bonds that you may have forgotten about? What would you do if you won $50,000?
A man in his early forties discovered the potential of Bonus Bonds in our February prize draw. With only $30 invested, this $1 MILLION prize winner found out that even small investments in Bonus Bonds can prove life changing.
He had $10 invested by his father years ago and $20 won from an earlier prize; less Bonus Bonds than any of our 56 previous $1 MILLION grand prize winners. And if you ever thought Bonus Bonds purchased years ago don't still have chances to win, the bond number that won the grand prize was the first bond number purchased by our winner's father when he was a young boy.
Do you have Bonus Bonds from years ago? Are you unsure if they are live, or better still if they have won any prizes? Either sign up for MyBonusBonds or visit any ANZ branch to find out.
December 2011, Wellington
An eight-year-old Wellington girl won $100,000 in our 500th draw (December 2011) after holding just $270 worth of Bonds for 5 years. Her father purchased them as a way of putting aside some savings for "his little princess." When told of his daughter's winnings he was absolutely thrilled. "I told my wife a few months ago that I had a hunch something good was about to happen to our family. When I got the call today, to say our little girl's Bonus Bonds had won her $100,000, I knew my hunch had been confirmed! "Our little girl is very precious and we have always wanted to provide for her future. We haven't yet had a chance to let the news sink in, and at this stage we're unsure how we will invest the money; all I know is that today is a good day for our little family."
The views and opinions expressed through these winner's stories do not necessarily reflect the views of Bonus Bonds.
We'd love to hear your story
- Do you have a fun story or anecdote about Bonus Bonds?
- Are you a Bonus Bonds millionaire?
- Have you won a prize with Bonus Bonds you bought or were given years ago?
- Have you spent your winnings on something really fun or special?
- Perhaps you've had a good experience when you received Bonus Bonds as a gift or bought them for someone else?
We'd like to hear your story and we might even put it on this website (keeping your details confidential of course).