Rotorua Lotto stores have been extra busy this week as the Powerball jackpot for tonight's draw reached a whopping $18 million.

Dianne Dairy owner Sukhjit Singh said there had been nearly twice the number of people than usual buying tickets because of the big prize up for grabs.

"They ask how big the prize is and, when we say $18 million, everyone wants to buy tickets."

He said some people had seen the figure and bought the $26 tickets, adding people didn't usually spend that much.

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"We tell them good luck."

A lot of tourists and visitors had been buying tickets, such as people from Auckland, who decide to try their luck at other shops, he said. Lucky Lotto Shop's Bavan Kaur said there were heaps of people coming in, including tourists visiting the night market on Thursday.

She said yesterday had been exceptionally busy because the Powerball was high.

"They are excited to win $18 million."

Rotorua Pak'n Save Lotto manager June Ratapu said it had definitely been busier and there was excitement, as it was a lot of money.

"Everyone's dreaming about winning and how they are going to spend the money."

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She said people usually talked about it among themselves or with the operator and that paying off mortgages, buying a house and going on holiday were often mentioned. They had been a little busier since Lotto added a second Wednesday draw, but Wednesday sales were still not as high as Saturday, she said.

Rotorua had a lucky streak with Lotto winnings in 2015, including a Rotorua family claiming a $24.3 million Powerball prize in June from a ticket bought at the Springfield Superette and Lotto.