Frenzy for history making draw (+video)

By Georgina Harris

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Ken Morley has been picking the same Lotto numbers for years and won't be changing his tune for New Zealand's largest Powerball jackpot of $40 million tonight.

The Lynmore resident bought his regular Powerball ticket from The Lucky Lottery Shop on the corner of Haupapa and Tutanekai Sts yesterday.

He said he had been playing "off and on since Lotto's inception" but didn't have a particular store that he bought his tickets from.

If he won tonight he said he would use the windfall to help his wider family, change the car and travel overseas.

Tonight's draw is the biggest jackpot prize to date in New Zealand history and must be won.

If there are no First Division winners the entire jackpot rolls down to the next division where there are winners. If there is more than one winner in that division, the jackpot is shared evenly.

The Lucky Lottery Shop Lotto operator Manaia Wehipeihana said the past week had been "crazy" with people buying for both the $34 million powerball that wasn't won on Wednesday , and tonight. .

She said people were spending a lot more than usual on their tickets, with one customer spending $800.

Miss Wehipeihana and store manager Baran Kaur said it would be nice for the winner to be a local, or if the money was shared out amongst a number of families.

Also buying a ticket was Mick Peoples from Kawerau. He was hoping his usual Powerball ticket would be a winning one to help his extended family.

"You gotta be in to win it."

As a great-grandfather with seven children, 36 grandchildren and one great-grandchild Mr Peoples said he would set them all up in their own homes.

More than $86 million in First Division prizes have been shared by 98 First Division winners in Rotorua since Lotto started in 1987, including three Powerball First Division prizes.

At the Springfield Superette & Lotto it had been "pumping" this week.

Owner-operator Raj Kumar said he had never seen so many people coming in to buy tickets.

"It's unbelievable. I haven't stopped since Sunday. The levels are unprecedented."

He said there had even been people waiting outside the store before it opened at 7am in order to buy a Powerball ticket.

Springfield Superette & Lotto customer Lesley Everest said she hoped her first ever Lotto ticket would be the winning one. She said her family had looked at buying tickets from time to time, but always had other expenses to spend the money on.

However, with such a big prize at stake she was keen to be involved.

"It's worth a shot at $40 million."

The largest Powerball prize won in Rotorua was sold at the Springfield Superette and Lotto in June 2015, when a local family won $24.3 million with Powerball First Division.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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