The districts of Kaikoura and Hurunui bore the brunt of a deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit New Zealand’s South Island earlier this month, leading Prime Minister John Key to admit that it would take a huge amount of time and money to repair the damage. The relief efforts have been boosted by domestic and international aid, and now Lotto NZ is also stepping in to help.
“Our Lotto staff and retailers around the country really want to do something for the people of Kaikoura and we are really pleased to be able to help,” said Pickup. “Kiwis love playing Lotto to help support our communities, and the Kaikoura community is in need of help right now. We know that Lotto players will be glad to have the opportunity to do their bit to support Kaikoura through their weekly ticket purchase.”
Explaining why Lotto NZ could not simply donate the Powerball jackpot straight to the relief fund, Pickup added: “We cannot change the rules of the game as this would be unfair for the many New Zealanders who have already purchased tickets for future draws and is not possible under the strict legal rules that govern the game.”
The Gambling Act 2003 clears the way for Lotto NZ to make charitable donations in such circumstances, and a special draw was previously held in March 2011 following the Christchurch earthquake. On that occasion, NZ$8 million was generated in funding, and it is hoped that New Zealanders will be similarly generous this time around.
The Powerball jackpot currently stands at NZ$5.5 million, and tickets for the next draw can be bought from authorised retailers in New Zealand as well as online.