The big prize went begging last night as no one claimed the $20 million Lotto Powerball jackpot.

Excitement mounted in the hours leading up to last night's draw, with Auckland dairy owners reporting higher-than-usual sales.

Queues built from 6.30pm at Auckland's Richmond Rd Superette, said store owner Dela Barnard.

At Grey Lynn Stationers, local resident Toka Urirau was among the customers keeping fingers crossed after forking out for a shot at the jackpot.

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The last time Powerball was struck was on December 31, when an Auckland man won $5.5m on a ticket bought at Grand Superette in Orewa.

The winning prize has been jackpotting ever since.

Lotto spokeswoman Victoria Barton-Chapple said next Saturday's jackpot would reach an estimated $22m.

Only three previous jackpots have been bigger in New Zealand's history.

The Powerball prize soared to $35m in April last year, when there were were two winners.

To win the Powerball, players must have all six Lotto numbers plus the extra Powerball number.