Tess Nichol is an NZME. News Service reporter.

Lucky ticket holder not the only winner in Lotto's latest jackpot

Lotto retailers have netted up to four times as much profit from sales than usual in the lead up to Wednesday's jackpot draw. Photo/ supplied
Lotto retailers have netted up to four times as much profit from sales than usual in the lead up to Wednesday's jackpot draw. Photo/ supplied

It's not just Kiwi punters who have cashed in with Lotto's recent mega draws. Lotto shop owners - who receive a 7 per cent commission on all sales - are also rubbing their hands with joy.

Some Lotto outlets made three or four times more than usual off the sale of tickets ahead of Wednesday night's $44 million Powerball jackpot draw.

Queen Street's Mid City Lotto store sold more than 4300 tickets on Wednesday, said owner Shital Patel.

"It was that crazy. We had a queue until 7pm. The queue was out of our shop."

Usually the shop would make about $5000 from ticket sales on a busy weekend day, but on Wednesday they made at least four times that, Patel said.

Lotto New Zealand said more than 2.3 million tickets were sold in the draw, which was won by a Hibiscus Coast couple who had been struggling to buy their own home.

The pair claimed their winnings on Thursday.

"I was at work this morning on smoko break and decided to check our ticket," said one of the winners.

"I saw that I had three numbers in a row, so I quickly checked that I had the Powerball number and then went back and checked the rest of the numbers," he said.

"As soon as I saw I had all the numbers on one line I just yelled 'holy ****!' - my boss thought I'd chopped my arm off with a saw."

The winning numbers were: 1, 3, 21, 22, 29, 30 and 5 as the bonus ball. The Powerball was 6.

Coastlands Lotto, the country's third luckiest store, said they were at least three times as busy in the lead-up to the big draw.

"We have three Lotto terminals here and all three were working frantically.

"We felt like we were ever-changing ticket rolls and eftpos rolls. Our volumes were at least three times what we would normally do."

Papatoetoe Plaza Lotto staff member Thomas Zhuang said their Wednesday had been three times busier than normal and they sold nearly 2000 tickets.

He said they hadn't yet counted up their takings but he expected it to be triple the usual amount.

And at Paper Plus in Three Lamps, customers were spending up large.

"We had people buying five tickets, someone dropped a grand on tickets," a staff member, who asked not to be named, told the Weekend Herald.

Lotto has a network of more than 1000 retailers, which has grown from 420 when Lotto sales began in 1987.

While retailers net a share of ticket sale profit, there is an ongoing cost to being a Lotto outlet.

A weekly service fee is deducted from the retailer's commission.

It is calculated on a basis of 1 per cent plus GST of weekly sales, up to a maximum of $95 plus GST per terminal per week.

In the 2015-2016 financial year the organisation made over $700 million in Lotto, Strike and Powerball ticket sales alone.

Of that, just over $64m was returned to retailers throughout the country.

Sales of all tickets, which also includes Big Wednesday and Instant Kiwi, netted the organisation close to $1 billion for the last financial year.

For every dollar spent on Lotto games, 73 cents is returned to the community as prizes or community lottery grants.

- NZ Herald

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