The Lotto Powerball jackpot has soared to a whopping $28 million after last night's $25m draw failed to secure a winner.

Four players came agonisingly close to undreamed-of riches - matching the six Lotto balls but not the Powerball and having to settle for a share of the $1m first division prize.

Two were from Petone and the others were from Te Awamutu and Oamaru.

One Strike winner, from Auckland's North Shore, bagged almost $240,000.

If a single player wins next week's Lotto First Division and Powerball they will bank a record $29m.

The prospect of winning last night's $25m Powerball payout prompted long queues at Lotto outlets.

Checkout manager at Pak'n Save in Kaitaia, Shelley Ujdur, noticed a spike in customers.

Because it was a low socio-economic town most punters wanted the prize split so more players could benefit.

"Lots said $25m was too much and they'd be frightened if they won," she said.

"You'd have friends you'd never had before and everyone would want something from you. I know people who won Big Wednesday and wished they'd kept their mouths shut."

Sylvia Park Paper Plus employee Kaushik Singh said he'd seen a steady increase in customers as the jackpot had risen over the past few weeks.

Queues yesterday were stretching out the doors and into the mall. The most popular tickets were Power Dips, Singh said.

Max Burndred of Papatoetoe splurged on a Triple Dip, saying she only bought tickets once the jackpot "got up there".

She was planning to travel to Australia and said winning $25m would make her move "a damn sight easier".

Tim Miller of Favona said he didn't usually gamble but tried his luck because so much money was at stake and would have given "heaps" to charity.