A Powerball jackpot of NZ$40 million was split between three participants in early July, while the record for the biggest single Lotto win in New Zealand stands at $36.8 million and belongs to a ticket holder from Masterton, who struck gold in June 2009. Lotto spokeswoman Emilia Mazur said in the New Zealand Herald: “If a single player is lucky enough to win big on Wednesday, they'll be taking home the second largest prize ever won in New Zealand - it's life-changing."
It is estimated that over a million tickets have been sold in the last week, and many punters are seeking out stores that have been lucky in the past to try and boost their chances of success. Nelson’s Richmond Night ‘n Day has so far sold 29 First Division-winning tickets, and owner David Smolenski has been welcoming plenty of new customers. He said: “It's the busiest it's been for a while. The fact that we're one of the luckiest stores in the country also doesn't hurt - it works wonders for business."
For a player to win the Powerball jackpot, they must match all six Lotto numbers drawn between 1 and 40 and then the Powerball from between 1 and 10. A separate NZ$1 million First Division prize is on offer for just the Lotto numbers, and two ticket holders split the seven-figure sum in the most recent draw on Saturday. The Powerball jackpot can keep growing even if the Lotto top prize is won, and players can opt in to take part in the enhanced game when they enter Lotto.
Anyone who wins the jackpot on Wednesday will be able to splash the cash in any number of ways, perhaps even purchasing a number of new properties to share with friends and family. The most expensive areas in New Zealand are Auckland and Queenstown, where the average house price is around NZ$1 million, so a lucky winner could probably afford 30 new homes and still have something to spare.
It remains to be seen whether the rush for tickets results in a jackpot winner or whether the top prize will roll over and set a new record, but it promises to be a special night for New Zealand Powerball players. Good luck!