Lotto Powerball's fifth-biggest prize is up for grabs tonight, sitting at a whopping $28 million.

And while Auckland outlets reported a normal rate on the sale of tickets this morning, it's expected a rush for tickets will happen this afternoon by Kiwis hoping to become overnight multi-millionaires.

History shows Lotto customers would often buy their tickets late in the day of a draw.

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Only a handful of people had been through Birkenhead Superette's doors this morning, elsewhere, it had been a rather quiet morning for the Kensington Dairy.

Meanwhile, an attendant at the Lincoln Heights Superette wondered whether Valentine's Day celebrations had left many nursing hangovers in bed.

A customer at the Glen Innes Lotto & Dairy won with a Lotto ticket while the attendant was on the phone with the Herald.

Powerball had skyrocketed to a whopping $28 million. Photo / Supplied
Powerball had skyrocketed to a whopping $28 million. Photo / Supplied

"People win all the time here," she said. "I got 22 First Division wins from the shop. You must come and get the ticket from here."

The secret to a winning formula was having the best service in town, the attendant said.

However, all of the store attendees expected customers to roll through the doors and queue for tickets as the day went on.

It was not unusual for Lotto customers to buy tickets late in the afternoon or early evening on the day of a big draw, a spokeswoman said.

"Winning can happen anywhere, at any time, but you've got to be in to win," Lotto NZ's Marie Winfield said.


Whether you're a regular player or it's your first ticket – every ticket counts.

"Just this week we had a winner from Central Otago who won $500,000 on the first line of the first ticket she ever bought."

Ten years ago, a Papakura father won $28.7m with Powerball but almost threw away the chance at becoming a multi-millionaire.

Having bought the ticket and thrown it on the ground, it was not until the Monday when he decided to take a look at his numbers.

"I showed it to my daughter, and we checked the numbers online," he said.

"We both went crazy when we realised I had won the big one, she started crying and I started shaking.

"I could not even write my name on the back of the ticket as my hand was shaking so much."

The win was the biggest Powerball prize ever won in New Zealand at the time but has since been knocked down to fourth place.

The largest-ever win was claimed in November 2016 when a Hibiscus Coast couple won $44m.

Largest Powerball wins on a single ticket


$44m, Dairy Flat Food Mart and Liquor in November 2016.


$33m, One Step Ahead, Auckland in September 2013.


$30m, Richmond Superette, Taupo in September 2017.


$28.7m, Mobil Papakura, Auckland in October 2010.


$27m, Martina Four Square, Thames in May 2017.


$26.5m, Te Kauwhata Four Square, Te Kauwhata in March 2012.


$26.2m, Willy Wonka's Superette, Auckland in February 2014.


$24.3m, Springfield Superette and Lotto, Rotorua in June 2015.


$22.4m, Manukau Pak'nSave, Auckland in October 2009.


$22.3m, MyLotto, Central Otago in August 2018.


$22.3m, Inglewood Bookcentre, Inglewood in February 2009.