Ticket sales may top two million for tonight's must-be-won $44 million Powerball draw

By Ben Hill, Ophelia Buckleton

Lotto draw persenter Sonia Gray helps to sell tickets at the Pak 'n Save in Manuaku ahead of a record $44 million Big Wednesday draw 09 November 2016 picture / supplied
Lotto draw persenter Sonia Gray helps to sell tickets at the Pak 'n Save in Manuaku ahead of a record $44 million Big Wednesday draw 09 November 2016 picture / supplied

Lotto fever has hit the nation with more than two million tickets expected to sell ahead of tonight's must-be-won $44 million Powerball draw.

Lotto draw persenter Sonia Gray helps to sell tickets at the Pak 'n Save in Manuaku ahead of a record $44 million Big Wednesday draw 09 November 2016 picture / supplied
Lotto draw persenter Sonia Gray helps to sell tickets at the Pak 'n Save in Manuaku ahead of a record $44 million Big Wednesday draw 09 November 2016 picture / supplied

Lotto NZ's spokesperson, Kirsten Robinson said the expected ticket sales for the country's biggest Powerball draw ever are three times more than those for a lower jackpot level.

"The busiest time for ticket sales will be from 5pm tonight, so we're recommending players get in early to avoid missing out."

General manager of Lotto's corporate communications, Emilia Mazur said Lotto stores and the MyLotto website were both extremely busy, so people should not leave buying a ticket to the last minute.

"Our players are excited about the chance of winning this life-changing prize.

"It feels like everyone is talking about what they would do if they won $44 million - and then heading in-store to pick up a ticket."

If there are no first division winners, the jackpot will roll down to the next division where there are winners.

Lotto draw persenter Sonia Gray helps to sell tickets at the Pak 'n Save in Manuaku ahead of a record $44 million Big Wednesday draw 09 November 2016 picture / supplied
Lotto draw persenter Sonia Gray helps to sell tickets at the Pak 'n Save in Manuaku ahead of a record $44 million Big Wednesday draw 09 November 2016 picture / supplied

If there is more than one winner in that division the total will be shared evenly.

Retailers have been swamped with customers, including keen punters heading to the country's luckiest stores in droves, hoping that a reputation for selling big winners will continue.

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."

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.

Unichem Storford Lodge Pharmacy in Hastings currently holds the record for New Zealand's luckiest Lotto shop, with two first-division wins this year, taking their tally to 43.

Must Be Won draws
• This is the fifth time that Powerball has reached a must-be-won draw with a jackpot of over $30 million
• The most recent must-be-won draw of $40 million was shared by three second division winners from Hamilton, Te Awamutu and Dunedin - they each took home $13.3 million.

- NZ Herald

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