Lotto's Powerball jackpot is hitting a record $40 million after the top prize eluded punters last night.

The jackpot stood at $34 million and will climb to its highest prize for Saturday's draw, when it must be won.

In a Must Be Won draw, if no single ticket wins Powerball First Division the prize pool is added to the next highest division with winners.

Strike Four has also rolled over and will be worth $700,000 on Saturday. The highest Powerball prize was $33 million, won in September 2013.


Statistics provided to the Herald by Lotto show 70 per cent of players choose random numbers, rather than pick them themselves.

Eighteen people have won $1 million or more this year, with five of those coming from Auckland. Tiny Wainuiomata in Lower Hutt -- population 16,786 -- can lay claim to two million-dollar prizes.

Two Lotto players, from Lower Hutt and Christchurch, will be celebrating after winning $500,000 each with Lotto First Division in last night's draw.

The winning tickets were sold at Countdown Lower Hutt and Countdown Eastgate in Christchurch.