Natalie Akoorie is a reporter at the NZ Herald based in Hamilton.

Queues at "lucky" Lotto shops ahead of $38 million draw

Lotto NZ warns punters to get in early to avoid queues for tonight's $38 million Lotto Powerball draw. Photo / Michael Bradley.
Lotto NZ warns punters to get in early to avoid queues for tonight's $38 million Lotto Powerball draw. Photo / Michael Bradley.

It's been three times as busy as a normal Saturday at one of the country's luckiest Lotto stores, ahead of tonight's $38 million draw.

In Hamilton Take Note Dinsdale owner Gurpreet Minhas said there had been steady queues to buy Lotto tickets all day and even yesterday when it was just as busy.

The book shop is the luckiest Lotto store in the Waikato having sold 22 First Division wins and the largest Powerball prize ever struck.

Minhas said in the seven years he has owned the shop seven First Division prizes have been won there and in 2011 Take Note Dinsdale sold one of two winning Powerball tickets.

The lucky punter took home a half share of $34 million.

"The winner took three weeks to come in so we were constantly in the paper, so people know we are quite lucky."

Blenheim grandmother Daphne Freeth said she was visiting Hamilton for her granddaughter's wedding and was taking a punt to cap off a "wonderful few days".

"I'll be back in tomorrow if I win," she told the sales assistant.

By the time the Lotto balls roll out at 8pm tonight a staggering 1.5 million tickets will have been sold around the country since Wednesday night.

Just three days ago Powerball jack potted from $34 million after no-one struck it rich.

Tonight's hefty prize has attracted a huge number of players according to Lotto NZ spokeswoman Kirsten Robinson.

"We're experiencing very large sales volumes for this draw; approximately 50 per cent more than last Saturday."

However Robinson warned punters to get in early if they want to avoid queues.

"We know there are some traditionally very busy stores," she said. "Like some of our stores that are known to be or have a reputation of being lucky are quite busy today."

Take Note Dinsdale Lotto assistant Harpreet Kaur gives Daphne Freeth of Blenheim her tickets in tonight's $38 million Lotto draw. Photo / Natalie Akoorie
Take Note Dinsdale Lotto assistant Harpreet Kaur gives Daphne Freeth of Blenheim her tickets in tonight's $38 million Lotto draw. Photo / Natalie Akoorie

The luckiest Lotto store in the country is Unichem Stortford Lodge Pharmacy in Hastings with a whopping 43 first division wins, including two this year and two Powerball first division prizes.

The total winnings amount to more than $27 million.

Robinson said Lotto shops around the country are expected to heat up after 6pm, with close-off for the draw at most stores at 7.30pm.

"We do expect stores to be really busy today and getting busier throughout the day so if you want a ticket try and get in early."

Powerball was first introduced in 2001 and since then 12 ordinary Kiwis have taken home prizes over $20 million.

If tonight's $38 million is not won the prize will jackpot to a must-win $40 million on Wednesday.

To date Powerball has only ever reached a $40 million Must Be Won draw once, in July this year.

The $40 million jackpot rolled down to Powerball Division Two where it was shared between three players from Hamilton, Kawhia and Dunedin who each won $13.3 million.

The largest single prize ever won in New Zealand went to three generations of women in a Masterton family syndicate who netted $36.8 million with Big Wednesday in 2009.

So far this year the biggest prize dished out was $22 million, won by an Ashburton family who bought their ticket online at MyLotto.co.nz.

Robinson said online Lotto also "does very well" in the lucky stakes with two Powerball prizes won online this year alone.

Luckiest Lotto stores

1. Unichem Stortford Lodge Pharmacy - Hastings - 43 first division wins totalling $27,260,015
2. Pak 'N Save Riccarton - Christchurch - 32 first division wins totalling $35,973,388
3. Richmond Night 'N Day - Nelson - 32 first division wins totalling $15,946,330
4. Coastlands Lotto - Paraparaumu - 29 first division wins totalling $16,374,051
5. Mall Books and Lotto - Wellington - 26 first division wins totalling $16,243,861
6. Hornby Mall Lotto - Christchurch - 26 first division wins totalling $10,291,734
7. Berrymans - Auckland - 26 first division wins totalling $8,749,678

Top NZ lottery wins over $20million

1. $36.8 million, June 2009 Masterton
2. $33 million, September 2013 Auckland
3. $28.7 million, October 2010 Auckland
4. $27 million, September 2012 Tauranga
5. $26.5 million, March 2012 Te Kauwhata
6. $26.2 million, February 2014 Auckland
7. $24.3 million, June 2015 Rotorua
8. $22.5 million, September 2013 Christchurch
9. $22.4 million, October 2009 Auckland
10. $22.2 million, April 2016 Ashburton
11. $20.5 million, November 2009 Invercargill
12. $20.2 million, September 2014 Auckland

- NZ Herald

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