They missed out on scooping the historic $40 million Lotto prize but a Mount Maunganui winner was still "stunned" when they unwittingly claimed almost $20,000.

The local resident has become $19,499 richer after winning their share of the second division from Lotto's "must win" Saturday night draw.

The ticket was sold at Mount Maunganui Paper Plus and had already been claimed by 11am yesterday.

Manager Jane Debenham said the person had no idea when they came in to check their ticket.


''They were so stunned.''

Ms Debenham said the winner struggled to say anything in response to the news they had just won nearly $20,000.

''There was just silence.''

Ms Debenham said she was happy for the winner, who was a Mount Maunganui resident.

She said the winner had not expected to win much after Lotto announced the three winners of the major prize were sold at Oparau Roadhouse in Te Awamutu, Pak'nSave Dunedin and on MyLotto to a player from Hamilton.

''It's good it went to three winners. It did get spread out.''

The second division winner joins 50 others throughout New Zealand, including people who bought tickets from Opotiki New World in the Eastern Bay of Plenty and New World Westend in Rotorua.

Ms Debenham said her team had been run off their feet with Lotto demand through the week, creating queues out the door.

''It has been non-stop. I take my hat off to them. We are a small store with one Lotto terminal. Customers were good. Even in the lead up to Wednesday's $34m, it was busy.''

More than 2.7 million tickets were were entered into Saturday's draw, compared with a normal draw's sale of about 750,000 tickets.

Between 5 and 6pm on Saturday, the busiest time for ticket sales, more than 3000 tickets were sold every minute.

Lotto sales for the week were just under $60 million, with sales for Saturday's draw accounting for $40 million of that.

Lotto general manager for corporate communications Emilia Mazure said it meant more players than ever were in to win.

"It feels like just about everyone in the country was talking about Powerball and imagining how good it would feel to win, and now these lucky players are about to find out."

The intense demand for Lotto meant Strike Four was also a must win draw and its jackpot was won by players in Auckland and Waipapa who each won $405,792.

Seven Lotto players from Gisborne, Tokoroa, and Auckland won a $142,857 share of Lotto First Division.

Lotto's biggest wins
• $33m won by an Auckland "westie" in 2013.
• $28.7m went to a pig-hunting Papakura father in October 2010.
• $26.5m to supermarket worker Trevor Cooper in March 2012.
• $22.4m to an Auckland couple in October 2009.
• $19m to a New Plymouth man in April 2008.