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Frenzy gathers pace at our luckiest Lotto shop

By Brendon manning

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The country's luckiest Lotto store is experiencing an expected surge in business ahead of tomorrow's $27 million Big Wednesday jackpot.

"Ever since last Wednesday we've noticed people have started buying ... that don't normally," Radius Pharmacy, Peter Dunkerley Lotto manager Nanette Woodham said.

Tomorrow's mammoth draw is the fourth-largest prize in Lotto history.

"It will be Wednesday that the momentum really builds."

People had been buying Big Wednesday tickets over the original Saturday night Lotto draw, Ms Woodham said.

The Hastings pharmacy is the country's luckiest Lotto store, having sold 34 first division winning tickets.

Tomorrow's dizzying jackpot is sending hopeful Kiwi punters into a ticket-buying frenzy. It would be the biggest cash prize scooped by a single player.

The highest total, $36 million, was split three years ago by a Masterton family syndicate.

So, what would you do with the fortune?

You could buy 62 average Kiwi properties, or, snap up the $22 million Glendowie mansion owned by New Zealand's richest man, Graeme Hart.

Perhaps you'd prefer a wild, all expenses world trip or a guiltless splurge on luxury clothing and expensive sports cars.

Tomorrow's winning ticket holder has the option of trying to remain anonymous, or heading down to Lotto HQ in Wellington for a small winners' ceremony with officials, washed down with champagne.

"It's very relaxed," spokeswoman Victoria Barton-Chapple said.

A winner's manual - This is not a dream - is also provided, filled with advice from previous winners, finance experts and a glossary of financial terms the newfound millionaires will need to brush up on.

The reaction varies but most winners are understandably shocked, Ms Barton-Chapple said.

"Something like $100,000 just makes their life so much easier, but it's not an amount that they are going to stress about. It's enough to have a trip and give some money to the kids.

"But once you're getting over the three, four, five million mark - that's when people start thinking, 'Gosh, this is big, this is really life changing'."

The money usually takes about five working days to clear in the winner's bank accounts and the prizes are not taxed.

The most memorable winners Ms Barton-Chapple had dealt with were Trevor Cooper, the former checkout operator from Te Kauwhata who won a cool $26 million early this year, and the Masterton family syndicate.

"Both of those were just amazing - wonderful people who really needed it and it made all the difference in the world to them."


BIGGEST LOTTO WINS


$36m: Won on June 24, 2009. Ticket sold at Kuripuni Lotto & Post Shop in Masterton.

$28m: Won on October 16, 2010. Ticket sold at Mobil in Papakura.

$26m: Won on March 31, 2012. Ticket sold at Te Kauwhata Four Square.

$22m: Won on October 3, 2009. Ticket sold at Manukau Pak'nSave.

$19m: Won on April 5, 2008. Ticket sold at Pak'nSave New Plymouth.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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