Lotto fever is running red-hot after the Lotto Powerball prize pool jackpotted to a mind-blowing $44 million for tomorrow night's must-win draw.
Punters are heading to their local Lotto shop in droves - including to one of the Bay's luckiest stores Greerton Lotto, which has sold 23 first division winning tickets and a couple of Powerball wins over the years.
That included a $5m Powerball-winning ticket in September last year.
Greerton Lotto shop owner Belinda Sands said ticket sales for Saturday's $38m draw were up 100 per cent on the previous week, and she expected another sales surge for tomorrow night's draw.
"We have been very busy and have seen a lot of new faces coming in that we haven't seen before. Most people have been buying Powerball triple dips. Many of our regulars
have either been buying $20 or $26 triple dips, which is an increase on the amount they usually spend," she said
On the shopping list for many punters spoken to by the Bay of Plenty Times were the usual gifts to family, a new house and holidays.
Based on the $645,000 current average house price in Tauranga, the Powerball winner could easily buy 68 new homes, live in one and rent out the rest.
Tracey Gemmell, from Greerton, said apart from giving some of her winnings to family, buying a new house and having a holiday, she would gift some of the money to a couple of local charities.
Dennis Hendrich, 21, from Germany, said he and his travelling companion intended spending at least six months in the country during their working holiday.
Aside from giving some of his winnings to family, Mr Hendrich said he would do a lot more sight-seeing around New Zealand than he and his fellow traveller first intended.
Also a regular Lotto punter, Ms Sands' shopping list was longer and more specific.
"If I win the $44m I plan to give $500,000 to each of my brothers and sisters, and other family members, plus I'd fly to Cairns and buy a house for my son and his children.
"Another thing I'd like to do is to help out other people hoping to start their own business, by giving them an interest-free loan or something like that," she said.
Ms Sands said she would also gift the business she had owned for the past 15 years to loyal employee Dione Thompson, and her husband, who had worked for her for seven years.
"That's if she wants it, of course," she said.
Ms Sands said winning $44m was a "mind-blowing" amount of money and she would retire and spend more time relaxing with her family.
"Winning would definitely make up for all the holidays and sick days I haven't had over the years,"she said.
Currently Unichem Storford Lodge Pharmacy in Hastings has earned the reputation as New Zealand's luckiest Lotto shop, with two first division wins this year, taking their tally to 43.
Other big wins in Tauranga this year
February: A Tauranga family won $7.1m with a Powerball ticket bought from AJ's Lotto
March: A Bay of Plenty local won $1m in Lotto first division
September: A Gate Pa man won $1m with a first division ticket from Gate Pa Superette
September: A Tauranga couple won $1m with a ticket bought from Pak'n Save Papamoa
October : AJ's Lotto sold a winning $333,333 Lotto first division ticket
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