Avid Southland fisher lands big catch in Coastguard Summer Lottery

Invercargill, June 17, 2024 - For all his life Southland local Neil Hughes has been fishing the challenging waters of Foveaux Strait, reeling in more than a few whoppers. However, Neil’s caught more than he could imagine after winning first prize in the Coastguard Summer Lottery! He drove away in style, with a brand-new Hyundai Santa Fe, along with a Haines Hunter SF485 and trailer, a Coastguard annual membership and a Coastguard Day Skipper Course voucher, a prize package worth more than $141,000.

Neil’s been a dedicated supporter of Coastguard’s Lotteries buying five tickets in almost every draw. When he found out that the first prize was won in Invercargill, Neil and his wife Heather quickly checked their tickets – it turned out that their first number was the lucky one.

“I was on a high for the rest of the day, I think we’re still stunned and in disbelief that we won. The prize is the cream on top. We like to support Coastguard and have done so for around 10 years and that was our main aim,” Neil said. 

“You buy tickets to support the charity, but you never expect that you would win anything like this, it’s just amazing, it’s hard to believe,” Heather added. 

At a special handover on the banks of the Waihopai River, Neil and Heather met with Coastguard Bluff President Bill Obers who emphasised how crucial lottery sales are for supporting volunteers. 

“Without the funding that comes from those people buying lottery tickets, Coastguard itself can’t fund local Units like Coastguard Bluff,” Bill said. 

Lottery ticket sales are a vital source of funding for Coastguard, supporting volunteer training, maintenance of rescue vessels and search aircraft, and ensuring Units have all the necessary tools and equipment to save lives on the water. 

“Being a boatie out in Foveaux Strait, it can be a really nasty piece of water when it wants to be, but you can have confidence that if something does go wrong, you can radio Coastguard and get that support,” Neil said. 

It takes a crew to save a life, so Coastguard thanks the amazing people at Hyundai New Zealand and Haines Hunter for supporting the Coastguard Summer Lottery and delivering Neil and Heather an incredibly deserving prize package. 

Fancy your chances in our next lottery? Buy your tickets here for Captain's Club Lottery 117 and be in with a chance to win a Haines Hunter SF635 - valued at $180,000!


For more information, contact: 
Ben Parsons 
Coastguard Tautiaki Moana Senior Communications Advisor 
[email protected]

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  • Auckland Council
  • Northland Regional Council
  • Waikato Regional Council
  • Hutchwilco
  • Marine Deals
  • Tower
  • Kordia
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  • Line7
  • Century Batteries
  • Half Moon Bay
  • NZCT
  • Lotteries Grants Board
  • Lion Foundation
  • Pub Charity