Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Lotto: $28m spent on tickets last week

Kiwi punters out to score Lotto's largest prize dropped $28 million on tickets last week.

More than two million tickets were sold towards Saturday night's $33 million prize, figures from Lotto show.

Sales revenue clocked in at $28m, Lotto spokeswoman Emilia Mazur confirmed.

The prize - the biggest in the game's history - is yet to be claimed, as is last week's Big Wednesday jackpot of $22m.

Ms Mazur said the previous Powerball "must be won'' was in April 2011.

During that week, punters spent $34m on 2.4 million tickets.

"The jackpot was $35 million and it was shared by two players who took home $17.4 million each,'' she said.

Saturday night's winning ticket was sold at Auckland shoe repair shop One Step Ahead in Ponsonby.

Owner Gary Ashton yesterday said he had no idea who had won the ticket, but hoped it was one of the store's regulars.

The unclaimed Big Wednesday ticket was bought from Pak'n Save Riccarton in Christchurch.

According to Lotto, in a base jackpot week where the Powerball prize is $4m, sales average almost $10m, with the number of tickets being sold less than one million.

Meanwhile, annual results from the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) show punters bet a record $1.957 billion in the 12 months to July 31.

The record betting turnover contributed to a net profit of $144.1m for the 12-moth period - 13.2 per cent higher than the previous 12-month period.

NZRB chairwoman Glenda Hughes said the results were excellent.

"What's most pleasing, however, is that we've achieved these results despite increasing offshore competition, a lack of major sporting events in 2012/13 to offset the positive impact of the Rugby World Cup in the prior year, and 12 race meeting abandonments due to extreme weather conditions.''


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