Lotto says its MyLotto site and app, which have been down all morning, came back online shortly before 1pm today.
The site was overwhelmed last night with punters buying - or trying to buy - between 4000 and 5000 tickets per minute for the $43 million draw, which has now jackpotted to $50m.
"We had more people using MyLotto yesterday than ever before, with extremely high volumes online during the peak time between 6pm–7pm. This regrettably led to some technical issues, and has meant the site needs to open a bit later today." Lotto NZ head of communications Marie Winfield said.
Auckland woman Victoria Young told the Herald that similar overloading problems last week saw her charged twice for her ticket after having hit refresh. She was ultimately refunded.
Winfield said before the first lockdown in March, some 25 per cent of tickets were sold online.
That changed during Level 4, as punters were forced to register to buy tickets via MyLotto or go begging.
Many have stuck with the online habit. For last Wednesday's $38m draw for example, Winfield says 57 per cent of tickets were sold online.
Lotto NZ's server capacity, however, doesn't seem to have been upgraded to keep up, at least for peak times. Winfield had no immediate comment on who was providing hosting services.
Last night's $43 million draw went unclaimed, with one person scooping a tidy $1m in the first division.
But today, gremlins have hit, with the mobile app displaying an apology telling those visiting MyLotto that it is currently closed and to come back in opening hours.
It also explains that the site is currently experiencing a technical glitch and is unavailable.
A special banner on the website reads: "We know you can't wait to see you're a winner. You'll be able to login to MyLotto and check your tickets from 7.30am so please come back then."
Punters with a paper ticket wanting to know how they have fared can visit a results page on the website where numbers can be checked manually against the winning combination.
It's the second time in a number of days the site has experienced issues as users tried to get a piece of last night's whopping $43m winnings.
On Saturday night strong demand for tickets in the $38m draw resulted in delays for some punters being able to buy tickets online.
An apology was issued on the MyLotto site saying there were more visitors than normal and they may experience trouble accessing the site.
Winfield said it was certainly a busy night for Lotto as more players than ever turned to buying their tickets online.
"We have significantly more people buying tickets online now than before the lockdown period. Nearly 200,000 people have registered to play online since March 25 – to put this into perspective, this is the number of new online players we would expect over a two-year period, not four months."
Lotto is now capped at $50m and must be won in Saturday night's draw. If a single person wins it will be the largest prize ever won in Lotto NZ's history.