Man wins $1 million but dies before he can spend it

AN elderly man who won $1 million in Bonus Bonds died a few weeks later, before he could spend the money.

However, Steffen Hayns was chuffed with the windfall and planned to give the money to his four adult children, according to those who attended his funeral this week.

The Te Kuiti widower was a resident at Hillview Home and Hospital and in ill health when he won the big prize last month.

Friend Leo Dempsey said though Mr Hayns died on June 13 soon after the draw, one of his daughters told the funeral congregation he still got to enjoy the win.

"One of the things she said was he liked looking at the bank statement showing the million dollars on it. She mentioned they were grateful that they were going to be able to enjoy it."

Born in Britain to at least one Danish parent, Mr Hayns, 83, was well known in Te Kuiti, having lived there most of his life.

Mr Dempsey said news of Mr Hayns' good fortune spread quickly through the town. "First of all we heard someone in Te Kuiti had won a million dollars in Bonus Bonds. And then, after a few days, word got around as to who it was.

"I was very pleased for him, but it was just a pity he wasn't well and able to enjoy it."

Another friend, former colleague Cherie Beard, said Mr Hayns was a hard-working and successful AMP insurance broker for 35 years.

"Yeah, he won the million dollars for May in Bonus Bonds. Sad that he won it then, but I think he would have got a thrill. "He was very sick, but I think he enjoyed helping his children."

Ms Beard did not broach the subject with her friend but heard the news through others in Te Kuiti and again when Mr Hayns' daughter mentioned it at his funeral.

"She said that he was so rapt when he saw the million dollars showing on his bank statement and he was so happy to be able to set the four of them up, or help them."

It was unclear how long Mr Hayns had invested in Bonus Bonds or how many he had.

Mr Hayns' children declined to speak to the Herald about their father's prize but an ANZ spokesman confirmed $1 million went to a Te Kuiti Bonus Bonds winner in the May 13 draw.

Each month, Bonus Bonds pays out prizes from $20 to $1 million. Other cash tax-free prizes include $100,000, $50,000 and $5000.

In the case of $1 million, the lucky punter usually receives a visit from the nearest ANZ branch manager who will deliver the good news in person with a bottle of bubbly, the spokesman said.

The youngest Bonus Bond holder to win $1 million was just 7 years old and the oldest was 87.

Bonus Bonds began in 1970 and anyone can buy them at $1 each, with a minimum investment of $20 giving holders 20 chances a month to win.

They can be kept indefinitely and there is no maximum number that may be held, but the investment does not earn interest.

Instead the interest is pooled and paid out in prize money, and the chances of winning range from 1 in 16,000 to 1 in 20,000.

Bonds can be cashed in at any time.

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