Kiwis dreaming of the high life are expected to crowd Lotto shops this week as Powerball hits an incredible $42 million - the country's second-largest Powerball prize.
The massive jackpot is up for grabs in Wednesday's draw after last night's hotly anticipated $35m Lotto Powerball prize was not won.
"The last time Powerball was over $40m was in 2016 when a couple from the Hibiscus Coast won the $44m jackpot," Lotto NZ spokeswoman Marie Winfield said.
"We're expecting stores to be really busy in the lead-up to Wednesday's draw, so recommend getting in early to pick up your ticket."
Yet - while last night's big one didn't go off - not every one went home empty handed.
Two players from Auckland and Waihi each pocketed $500,000 after sharing the First Division prize.
The winning tickets were sold at New World Waihi in Waihi, and on MyLotto to a player from Auckland.
Strike Four was also won tonight by two players from Auckland and Marton, who each won $200,000. The winning Strike tickets were sold at New World Marton in Marton and on MyLotto to a player from Auckland.
Anyone who bought their ticket from any of the above stores should write their name on the back of the ticket and check it immediately at any Lotto NZ outlet, online at mylotto.co.nz or through the Lotto NZ App.
It was not known how many tickets sold for last night's draw, but it was expected to exceed the 1.1 million sold for the Wednesday draw and the 1.2 million sold for last Saturday's draw.
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The $44m won by the Hibiscus Coast couple was New Zealand's biggest Lotto win.
Lotto said South Island gamblers were on a winning streak in the first seven weeks of this year, winning five big prizes following on from a $17.1m Powerball win by a Twizel punter just after Christmas.
The big jackpots in recent years have lured New Zealanders into gambling much more on Lotto, pushing Lotto turnover up by 40 per cent from $894m in 2014-15 to $1.25 billion in 2017-18, the latest data available.
About 55 per cent of the amount gambled in 2018-19 was paid out in prizes. Taxes took a further 11 per cent, retailer commissions and operating costs took 6 per cent each, and 22 per cent ($261m) was distributed to community groups such as charities, sports and the arts.