Ben Hill is a reporter for The New Zealand Herald

Lucky Lotto stores overwhelmed by hectic demand ahead of $44m draw

Lotto tickets are expected to sell in record numbers ahead of the $44 million Powerball draw.
Lotto tickets are expected to sell in record numbers ahead of the $44 million Powerball draw.

Massive ticket sales are expected as a Lotto frenzy grips the nation ahead of the biggest Powerball draw ever on Wednesday night.

Retailers have been swamped with customers ahead of the draw for $44 million, which must be won.

Keen punters have been flocking to the country's luckiest stores hoping that a reputation for selling big winners will continue after tomorrow night.

Richmond Night 'N Day in Nelson has sold 32 first division winners, and owner David Smolenski told the Herald demand for tickets this time round has been "absolutely crazy".

"It's been fantastic," he said.

"We're one of the biggest stores, and we have a good following."

He said people had come from all over the country to purchase tickets specifically at the store.

"They definitely come in with a purpose, we get them in from everywhere. We had some people come here from Gisborne, they said they knew about our store being lucky."

A shopkeeper at Coastlands Lotto in Paraparaumu, where 29 first division winning tickets have been sold, said sales have been "hectic".

"It's been very busy, there's really a buzz around.

"We've had big syndicates buying, people coming in who say they've never bought tickets before but are buying them for this draw.

"Even little old ladies who have never played Lotto before and have been asking us how to do it."

At Mall Books and Lotto in Wellington, owner Max Maisuria said he's had to bring his wife and children into the store to help him cope with the masses of people wanting tickets.

"[Today] will be a very busy day, there will be a lot of people coming in to buy tickets."

He said some punters were spending up to $500 on tickets.

The store has sold 26 first division winners, and Maisuria said customers "knew very well" about the shop's lucky history.

Lotto spokeswoman Kirsten Robinson said she expects there to be over two million tickets sold, with today being the busiest day for sales.

"We expect high demand both online at MyLotto and in Lotto stores around the country, so recommend anyone wanting a ticket gets in early to avoid having to wait in a queue."

- NZ Herald

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