The odds of a standard ticket winning tomorrow night's $34 million Powerball draw are one in 3.8 million - considerably worse than being struck by lightning or killed in a car crash.

However, because the draw is a "must win", the odds if the jackpot drops down to be shared by Powerball division-two winners improve to one in 600,000.

University of Auckland statistician Dr Andrew Balemi said people often asked how they could improve their chances.

"Well, there's no real way of doing that. It's completely random ... You can, however, decrease your chances of sharing."

An easy way to do that is to select numbers above 31, because people tend to choose their numbers based on their loved ones' birthdays.

"Lucky" numbers such as eight - a favourite with Chinese - and seven should be avoided.

And don't bother choosing the sequence of 1-2-3-4-5-6-7. NZ Lotteries says 2000 people selected the sequence one week in the apparent belief they would be the only ones to do so.

According to mathematicians, the odds of winning Powerball division one with a standard 10-line ticket are one in 3,838,380.

The chance of being struck by lightning is one in 280,000 in a year and of being killed in a car crash is one in 11,000.

NZ Lotteries spokeswoman Karen Jones said a lot of people had a superstition that winning tickets were sold in small towns because of the increased media attention such wins received.

"Obviously, Auckland has its fair share of wins, but it doesn't get reported as much. I mean, the Powerball record holder is a Papakura pig-hunter, so Auckland is pretty lucky."

Yesterday, people were lining up to buy their tickets at the country's equal-luckiest Powerball store, Countdown Lynfield in Auckland.

Richard Tipene, 47, refused to be daunted by the odds. "They're pretty big but, hey, that's part of it. You've got to spend money to make money ... Dreams do come true sometimes."

Nyneve Brown, 20, also had an unshakeable confidence, having strategically chosen her moment to buy her first Lotto ticket. "I've always thought that if I did buy one, I'd win."

Ms Brown said if she did win, she planned to get 20 of her closest friends and family together and "we'd just hop on the first plane out of New Zealand. Probably to Vegas."

But not everybody can so easily ignore probability - Dr Balemi said he would not be buying a ticket.

"If I want to give money to charity, I'll give it directly. I'd love to win that money as much as anybody else - I just know the odds."