Hold onto your hats, Lotto Powerball has rolled over to Saturday night and rocketed to a staggering $40 million.

The $34 million prize eluded eager punters last night, but two Lotto players, from Lower Hutt and Christchurch, did manage to snag $500,000 each in the draw.

Saturday night's $40 million would be the largest prize ever won in New Zealand history.

The biggest prize won by a single ticket was $36,890,255 in the Big Wednesday draw of June 2009.


Lotto spokeswoman Emilia Mazur said to sum it up, it's "really exciting"

"We've never had a prize this size on offer, everyone in and out of the office is buzzing."

Ms Mazur said in the last few weeks, they'd seen a lot of people playing who usually didn't.

"More people come into Lotto when the jackpot's high, people are very excited, because it must be won by someone on Saturday."

Her biggest piece of advice was to get in early.

"Too many people leave it to the last minute...There will be queues out the door, so get your ticket early as we don't want people to be disappointed."

Traffic on Lotto's online store caused it to go "a bit slower", so the same advice applied for online punters.

Ms Mazur said everybody had their own approach to picking numbers. Some used their favourite numbers, while others chose numbers that tended to show up more frequently in draws.

"Seventy per cent of our players choose randomly."

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.

In January 2015 a Dolly Parton-loving couple from Nelson used their $5 million winnings to take the trip of a lifetime to Dollywood in America.

A Rotorua family who scooped up $24.3 million in June last year were "thrilled" with their big win, but planned to keep working.

In Auckland, a $9.1 million winning couple on the North Shore couple looked forward to treating others to random acts of kindness with some of their winnings.

In a Must Be Won draw, if no single ticket wins Powerball First Division the prize pool is added to the next highest division with winners.