Ben Hill is a reporter for The New Zealand Herald

$30m win? Odds better on lightning strike

Photo / File
Photo / File

A staggering $30 million is up for grabs in Lotto Powerball tonight, but any excitement about snaring the largest prize in almost three years may be tempered by the odds.

Punters who buy a $16 Triple Dip ticket - the game's most-popular ticket - face odds of one in 3.8 million of winning large.

And each line on your ticket gives you a one in 38 million chance of taking home the mega-jackpot in tonight's Powerball draw.

You're more likely to be struck by lightning, with a one in 280,000 chance in a year, and the odds of being killed in a car crash is one in 11,000. You also have a much higher chance of being born with extra fingers or toes, or nailing a hole-in-one on a par 3.

Don't fret if you feel those odds are stacked against a multi-million dollar pay day, as the Weekend Herald can reveal the winning numbers that are proven to be the luckiest.

The six most frequently drawn winning numbers since 1987 are 1, 7, 12, 13, 18 and 21.

Combine that with a Powerball of 2, which has been drawn 111 times, and you will have the numbers that are historically proven to be the most successful.

Lotto spokeswoman Emilia Mazur says there's a "real buzz" around the massive jackpot up for grabs.

"We see a lot more people coming into the game when the jackpot is high and sales have been very strong."

Only one Powerball player has ever won more than the $30 million on offer tonight, when a lucky ticket scored its owner $33 million in September 2013.

Statistics provided to the Herald by Lotto show 70 per cent of players choose random numbers, rather than pick them themselves.

Eighteen people have won $1 million or more this year, with five of those coming from Auckland. Tiny Wainuiomata in Lower Hutt - population 16,786 - can lay claim to two million-dollar prizes so far in 2016.

What do those winners spend their newfound cash on? According to Lotto, half jetted off on overseas holidays, including family trips to Disneyland and a 70-day around-the-world cruise.

Just under half decided property was an area to allocate some of their funds, with 40 per cent paying off their mortgage or buying a new home.

Another 40 per cent splashed out on new cars, motorbikes and boats.

A recent winner of $15 million in Powerball said it was important to stay calm despite the excitement that a big win creates.

"Surround yourself with people you trust and get their advice, whether that's your partner, kids, best friend or a financial adviser.

"Having someone you can throw ideas around with is really valuable."

- NZ Herald

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