Lotto hits $44 million - and must go

Lotto has reached a record $44 million and it must go on Wednesday night.
Lotto has reached a record $44 million and it must go on Wednesday night.

Lotto has jackpotted to a record $44 million - and it must go on Wednesday.

Despite thousands of Kiwis flocking to outlets around the nation today to snare tickets for last night's draw, no one struck the $38m Lotto Powerball jackpot.

An extra $6m has been added for Wednesday's draw, the largest in Lotto's 29-year history.

"The Powerball jackpot has never been bigger - and it must be won," Lotto NZ's chief executive Wayne Pickup said.

"With a Must Be Won draw, we know that there is definitely going to be one or more winners this Wednesday and with a jackpot this size, the win is going to be life-changing."

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

In July, three players from Hamilton, Te Awamutu and Dunedin shared a Must Be Won Powerball jackpot of $40 million, taking home $13.3 million each.

And there's no shortage of luxury real estate or car bling to shell out on for any lucky players on Wednesday night.

Pakatoa Island, in the Hauraki Gulf, has recently been put on the market with a price tag of $40 million.

Previous attempts in recent years to sell the island have been unsuccessful.

On nearby Waiheke Island, celebrity real estate agent Michael Boulgaris is marketing a $28m coastal paradise consisting of an eight-bedroom main residence, four luxury chalets and a luxury cottage.

The Cowes Bay estate features an indoor swimming pool, a tennis court, boatshed and mooring.

Marketing for the property states it would allow for the new owner to "enjoy a lifestyle fit for a King".

For car lovers, Continental Cars is currently selling a $1.6m Ferrari. But there is a catch - given the car's value and rarity, no insurance company will cover any test drives so new owners will have to sign on the dotted line without taking it for a blast.

Only one Powerball player has ever won more than $30 million - a self-proclaimed Auckland "Westie" who took home $33 million in September 2013.

The largest single Lotto 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 single prize dished out was $22 million, won by an Ashburton family who bought their ticket online at MyLotto.co.nz.

While no-one won last night's $38m Lotto Powerball draw, two players from New Plymouth and Nelson each won $500,000 in Lotto First Divison.

The winning tickets were sold at Westown Lotto in New Plymouth and Whitcoulls Nelson in Nelson.

And one lucky Strike player will also have reason to celebrate after winning $500,000 with Strike Four. The winning ticket was sold at Lotto 'N' Things in Oamaru.

- Herald on Sunday

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