Tararua was the luckiest district in the country last year, if Lotto winnings are anything to go by.

A massive $17 million Powerball win from Dannevirke New World helped the lower North Island district claim the title from reigning champion Buller, NZ Lotteries' acting-chief executive Warren Salisbury said.

"The Tararua district had a few good wins with Lotto last year, and with a population of just 17,631, the average winnings per person works out at a massive $1,044 each - well over the average for most of the country."

As well as the winning Powerball ticket, there were 27 Lotto and Strike second division winners in the region, as well as two Winning Wheel winners from Dannevirke.

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Grey District on the West Coast was the next luckiest, with $711 per capita, followed by Otorohanga in Waikato with $643 per person.

Rounding out the top ten were Whakatane, Kapiti Coast, South Wairarapa, Tasman, Rotorua, Mackenzie and Hamilton City.

Auckland's Manukau Pak 'n Save Lotto branch sold the most prizes, with 80,000 winning tickets bought, followed by Christchurch's Hornby Mall and Manukau City Lotto.

Mr Salisbury said more than $400 million in Lotto prizes was won last year.

"More importantly, we transferred a record $183 million to the NZ Lottery Grants Board last year, taking total transfers to over $3 billion since Lotto began in 1987 - which provides funding for sport and recreation, arts and culture, and community services throughout New Zealand."

- Herald Online