Hoards of Kiwis hoping to nab a tidy $18 million jackpot in tonight's Lotto draw have bought up large in tickets.
The draw snowballed to the lofty figure after the latest Saturday night draw had no winners.
The draw was one of 24 Lotto draws that amounted to over $15m in the past 10 months.
Lotto spokeswoman Emilia Mazur said the company sees an "incremental sales increase" draw on draw each time a draw is not won and the jackpot increases.
"Once the jackpot is over $20-$25 million, we start to see even more players coming into the game," she said.
The area with the highest number of sales per capita last year was the Thames-Coromandel district.
The average player in the area picked up a ticket about once a fortnight, Mazur said.
True to form, Martina Four Square & Lotto in Thames was kept busy today with punters hoping to win big, according to store manager Jatinder Nagpal.
"We often have people asking about the jackpot - lots of people will come in and buy the tickets when they're doing their grocery shopping," Nagpal said.
"I started at 12 today and it has been really busy with people coming in."
The manager said he had also noticed a spike in the number of people picking up Instant Kiwi scratchies along with their Lotto tickets over the past few days.
Lotto tickets for tonight's draw will be sold until 7.30pm, when counters would close.
Five lucky Lotto players were likely popping the champagne on the weekend after each of them won $200,000 with Lotto First Division in Saturday's Lotto draw.
The winning tickets were sold at Jellicoe Court Bookstore in Auckland, Pak'nSave Clarence St in Hamilton, Katikati Paper Plus and Post Shop in Katikati, Smiths Pharmacy in Feilding and Z Bryndwr in Christchurch.
Strike Four was also won, by a player in Wellington. The lucky Wellingtonian took home $400,000.