Punters purchased a third fewer Lotto tickets during the lockdown, which means there will be a smaller pool of funds for community projects in future.
Lotto counters reopened around New Zealand yesterday after the country moved into alert level 2 just before midnight on Wednesday.
That was good news for those unable to buy their tickets online after almost all Kiwi businesses were forced to close their doors for seven weeks to stop the spread of Covid-19.
"We have seen a big increase in customers purchasing their tickets online during the lockdown, which has been fantastic," Lotto NZ chief executive Chris Lyman said.
"But sales over the lockdown have decreased to around 60 per cent of what we would normally see at comparable jackpot levels."
Lotto NZ was set up to generate funding for New Zealand communities, with 100 per cent of profits going to more than 3000 good causes around the country each year, Lyman said.
The Crown entity is also a significant funder of Sport New Zealand, New Zealand Film Commission and Creative New Zealand.
Fewer sales during lockdown "ultimately means less community funding", he said.
"So we're pleased to have the retail part of our business up and running again, giving our customers an option to buy their tickets in open stores if they wish ... with retail stores able to re-open this week we can continue to generate funding for New Zealand communities, many of which will need it now more than ever."
Two players had huge wins during the lockdown. A Manawatū couple scored themselves a life-changing $13.2 million with Powerball in April and on Wednesday a Hamilton Lotto player scooped $10.3m.
Lotto counters have, as with other retail around the country, reopened with additional health and safety measures in place to keep staff and customers safe.
A small number of counters would remain closed during level 2, including those in Relay stores and some independent outlets, Lyman said.
He also urged people to play responsibly - Lotto NZ games were meant to be fun and should never be viewed as a means of relieving financial, personal or other difficulties.
"It is especially important during these uncertain times that people play responsibly. We strongly encourage everyone to make sure they do not spend more than they can afford when playing our games."
Lotto NZ has tools to help customers managed their spending, including the option of blocking themselves from playing in-store and online - this could be done by calling
0800 695 6886.