Interest in this weekend's biggest Lotto prize has been "phenomenal". People have bought the same number of tickets in one day as would normally be sold in an entire week.

Lotto NZ chief executive Wayne Pickup, said New Zealanders around the country were keen to get their hands on a ticket for the $40 million must-be-won Powerball draw.

He said it was the largest prize in New Zealand history.

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"Queues are already forming in Lotto stores around the country this morning. Four times as many tickets [are] being sold every hour than the same time last week," said Pickup.

Lotto had to deliver more ticket paper to all its stores to make sure they didn't run out, he said.

"As at last night we'd already sold as many tickets as we normally would in total during a normal week - the interest is phenomenal."

Lotto recommended players get a ticket early, whether they were buying in-store or online.

"All Lotto stores and the MyLotto website are extremely busy. Anyone who wants to be in to win on Saturday shouldn't leave it to the last minute to pick up a ticket."

Pickup said it was the third time Powerball had reached a must-be-won draw of more than $30m. In the last draw, an Auckland man took home $33m in September 2013.

In a must-be-won draw, if there were no first-division winners the entire jackpot rolled down to the next division where there were winners - for example, second or third division.

If there was more than one winner in that division, the jackpot was shared evenly among all winners.

Corporate communications general manager Emilia Mazur said an average of $4m in community funding was generated every week thanks to Lotto players.

"Every Lotto ticket bought helps provide essential funding to over 3000 groups and organisations around the country."

Lotto players could buy a ticket for Saturday's $40 million Powerball draw in-store at any Lotto retailer or online at