Excitement is spreading around Central Otago with a mystery person sitting on a $22.3m gold mine, the Mayor says.

Last night a Central Otago Lotto player bagged the biggest Powerball prize in the South Island's history, walking away with $22.3 million.

The winning ticket was sold on MyLotto and was the largest prize won this year.

A Lotto spokeswoman this morning said the winner had not yet claimed their prize.

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Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan said there was a lot of excitement about the win, but he had no idea who the lucky punter was.

"My phone has been going off. All I know is it wasn't me.

"It is a staggering sum, my advice would be to stay quiet, sit tight and have a good think about what to do with it. At the very least, shop local."

This $15m property in Paradise, Glenorchy, could be purchased with millions to spare. Photo / Luxury Real Estate
This $15m property in Paradise, Glenorchy, could be purchased with millions to spare. Photo / Luxury Real Estate

Cadogan said he hoped the winner also looked at areas they could help out in the community, including housing affordability.

"It is a real need we have here. Just this week we signed off a deed on the Affordable Housing Trust, which will look at options for increasing affordable housing opportunities. The people, or person, could have a bit of a discussion with the Trust."

In addition to helping out the community, the mystery multi-millionaire could also take a decent stake in the real estate market.

The $22.3m winnings could hoover up 40 median-priced Kiwi homes or about 27 standard properties in the over-priced "City of Sails".

Central Otago is home to some of the country's most lucrative real estate, including big country stations and mansions on vast estates.

Agency Luxury Real Estate lists several properties the winner could acquire, with millions to spare.

The winner would need another major Lotto prize to snag this Glenorchy property, with an asking price of $33m. Photo / Luxury Real Estate
The winner would need another major Lotto prize to snag this Glenorchy property, with an asking price of $33m. Photo / Luxury Real Estate

One $15m property in the aptly named area called Paradise, in Glenorchy, consists of an 11-bedroom homestead, sitting on 56.83 hectares on the shores of Diamond Lake.

The property has been used for several Hollywood blockbusters, is surrounded by snow-capped peaks and has plenty of development opportunities with its rural visitor zoning.

Another option closer to Queenstown, was a four-bedroom home on a lifestyle block at Closeburn Station listed at $12,495,000.

The property boasted a media room, gym, spa and sauna, and views to the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu.

To acquire the agency's top property the winner would need another decent Lotto prize, with an asking price of $33m.

The country estate over two lots covering 5.7ha was near Glenorchy at the head of Lake Wakatipu, and included a five-bay garage, bar and games room, wine cellar, sauna and massage room.

A slightly more
A slightly more "affordable" option close to Queenstown listed at $12,495,000. Photo / Luxury Real Estate

The total prize was made up of $22 million from Powerball First Division and $333,333 from Lotto First Division.

The winning numbers were 4, 12, 18, 27, 33, 35, with a bonus number of 19 and a Powerball of 8.

While a big win conjured up elaborate fantasies of luxury holidays and designer clothes, a recent Lotto survey found a huge chunk of winners were using their money to help others.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of winners used the money to help out family members and 30 per cent helped their communities with random acts of kindness, food parcels and donations.

Holidays were still a priority however, with 31 per cent of winners taking trips, particularly to the Pacific Islands and New York City.

A smaller number, 23 per cent, indulged in shopping sprees and some splashed out on new cars and big screen televisions.

Since 1987, when Lotto began, hundreds of people had become instant millionaires.

Largest Powerball prizes won in South Island

• $22.3 million, August 2018, MyLotto, Central Otago
• $22.2 million, April 2016, MyLotto, Ashburton
• $20.5 million, November 2012, Windsor Stationery and Lotto, Invercargill
• $20.2 million, February 2012, Hornby Mall Lotto, Christchurch
• $18.2 million, February 2017, MyLotto, Otago