More than 1.7 million Lotto tickets are expected to be sold for a chance to claim Wednesday night's mammoth $38m Powerball draw.

If won, the $38m Powerball jackpot would be the second-equal largest payout of Lotto NZ history after two ticket holders split the same figure in 2017.

There were around 1.6m ticket sales for Saturday's unclaimed $32m draw, the equivalent of each Aucklander buying one ticket.

Lotto Powerball jackpots to $38 million
$25 million: Big Lotto prize not struck
Back to back win for lucky Lotto millionaire
Canadian man's secret decision after $71 million lotto win


More than two million tickets were expected to be sold when Lotto skyrocketed all the way up to a must-be-won $44m Powerball draw.

Lotto NZ refused to provide details around sale figures but if all customers bought the cheapest Powerball option, $12.2m would have been raised.

While they couldn't provide those figures, Lotto NZ's overall sales for the year ending June 30, 2018, were $1.25 billion - according to the 2017/18 annual report.

The equivalent of every Aucklander buying one ticket was recorded for Saturday's draw. Photo / File
The equivalent of every Aucklander buying one ticket was recorded for Saturday's draw. Photo / File

Lotto NZ's annual report for the 2018/19 year is expected to be published by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, a record transfer of $275m was poured back into community initiatives, chief executive Chris Lyman and chair Matthew Boyd said in their report.

All profits raised by Lotto NZ was returned to communities nationwide through more than 3000 causes each year.

Every ticket sold for a Lotto draw was making a difference throughout New Zealand, spokeswoman Kirsten Robinson said.

Elsewhere, six ticket holders shared $1m after claiming Lotto's first division on Saturday night - worth $166,667 individually.


And with such a massive Powerball jackpot up for grabs in two days' time, Robinson advised hopeful winners to get in early.

The luckiest numbers were 1, 7, 19, 22, 18 and 13, meanwhile, 31 Kiwis had become overnight millionaires through Lotto this year.

Most players preferred to play with random numbers, Robinson said, with "70 per cent of all tickets sold being Dips."

"Each line of numbers has exactly the same chance of winning, regardless of whether it is a Dip of random numbers or a player's own lucky numbers."

If the $38m prize was not claimed this week, the jackpot could extend to as much as $50m - and be on offer the same day as the Rugby World Cup final.

However, a must-be-won draw could be called by Lotto at any time.