There are queues at Lotto outlets around the city - as locals grab their tickets for tonight's must-win $44 million Powerball jackpot.

At the Lucky Lottery Shop on Tutanekai St, the lunchtime line went out the door.

"This is the biggest jackpot New Zealand has ever seen and understandably our players are excited about the chance of winning this life-changing prize," said Emilia Mazur, Lotto NZ's General Manager Corporate Communications.

"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."

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The busiest time for Lotto sales is usually after 5pm and Lotto NZ is recommending players get in early and pick up a ticket to avoid disappointment.

"All Lotto stores and the MyLotto website are already extremely busy. Anyone who wants to be in with a chance to win tonight shouldn't leave it to the last minute to pick up a ticket."

In a Must Be Won draw, if there are no First Division winners the entire jackpot rolls down to the next Division where there are winners - for example, Second or Third Division. If there is more than one winner in that Division, the total jackpot is shared evenly amongst all winners.

With a prize of this size up for grabs, Lotto NZ is reminding Kiwis to play responsibly.

"Our games are fun to play, and it's exciting to be in with a chance to win a big prize. At all times, we encourage responsible play, which is all about having fun, being informed, and knowing your limits," said Ms Mazur.