The largest prize ever in New Zealand history is up for grabs on Saturday and Lotto New Zealand recommends Kiwis get in early if they want to avoid the last-minute rush for $40 million.

"This is the biggest prize ever on offer in New Zealand and there's a real sense of excitement about the draw this Saturday," said Wayne Pickup, Chief Executive of Lotto NZ.

"We're expecting unprecedented demand as Kiwis head into Lotto stores and online to to pick up a ticket.

"Last night, we saw over 10 times the normal amount of traffic to MyLotto, with tens of thousands of players trying to get tickets at the same time.


"So we recommend players get in early to avoid disappointment."

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.

Earlier this week Cherrywood Lotto and Book Shop owner Bublee Kaur said the shop had been run off its feet, especially on Saturday, when the jackpot was $30 million.

"Everyone wants to win. People are going crazy about the $34 million - they want the money."

Tauranga man Kevin Brokenshire ensured he got a ticket once a week.

The most recent Powerball Must Be Won draw was in September 2013, when a player from West Auckland took home $33 million to become the country's largest ever individual Powerball winner.

Amidst the excitement of the Must Be Won draw, Lotto NZ is encouraging people to play responsibly.

Emilia Mazur, general manager of corporate communications said: "We'd like to remind our players to be realistic about the odds of winning and to only spend what they can afford. Responsible play is all about being informed, having fun and knowing your limits."

What you need to know:
• $40 million is up for grabs this Saturday

• It will be the largest Lotto prize won in New Zealand history

• It is a Must-be-won draw

• The six most frequently drawn winning numbers since 1987 are 1, 7, 12, 13, 18 and 21

• A Powerball of 2 has been drawn 111 times

• The biggest prize won by a single ticket was $36,890,255 in the Big Wednesday draw of June 2009