An outrageous $50 million is up for grabs this Saturday after Wednesday night's $42m Lotto Powerball prize rolled over - and some are questioning why it can't be shared.

Six lucky players split $1m for First Division last night - but no one clinched the $42m Powerball prize which has surged to $50m this weekend.

This weekend's draw is the biggest in Lotto's history in New Zealand, and would make a single winner an instant rich-lister.

This Saturday also happens to fall on February 29 - Leap Day - considered to be very lucky in some parts of the world.


The winning numbers were: 30, 8, 2, 33, 21, 3, the bonus ball was 13 and the Powerball was 6.

And indeed it could be hugely lucky for one punter, but imagine just how much it could impact dozens of people if it was split up.

On the NZ Herald Facebook page overnight, many followers questioned why the $50m could not be split among more people.

"Imagine the greatness this money could achieve if it went to 50 families," one follower said.

On a similar theme, a second follower said: "Come on Lotto, drop it down the divisions, 50 families could benefit from $1 million each."

Another said: "I hope it doesn't go to first division or second and trickles down to third division so a heap of people win! Imagine that for so many families!!!"

One joked: "Bloody hell the whole (of) NZ is going broke before this Saturday."

Many Herald readers are speaking out about how more people and families around the country could benefit hugely if the $50m was split.


One man wrote: "I have been wondering about it for ages. Creating one person with $50 million is contrary to our social goal of income distribution and contributes to child poverty.

"One million is a hell of a lot of money for most of us. Lotto NZ has a social responsibility to enrich more families - even more than the Government."

The winning First Division tickets were sold at: Four Square Coopers Beach, Northland; Countdown Mt Eden, Auckland; Trafalgar Lotto, Whanganui; online in Wellington; Nelson City New World and New World Centre City, Dunedin.

In the minutes after the numbers were drawn, visitors to Lotto's website spiked, with the site reporting "more visitors than normal" and adding "sorry if you have trouble accessing some pages".

Wednesday's jackpot was just $2m shy of New Zealand's biggest ever win, with $44m won by a young Hibiscus Coast couple in November 2016.

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During the live draw last night, Lotto presenter Jordan Vandermade broke down just how significant the record win would be.

"Powerball First Division has been won 184 times over its history, but not yet in 2020.

"My goodness me, the whole country's been talking about it.

"I was in the stores today, you can feel the energy. Have a think, while this machine spins these balls around, just how your life would change ..."

Last year's biggest win was a $22.3m Powerball prize that went to a woman who bought her ticket from a store in Taranaki.

Lotto's biggest Powerball winner was a young family just north of Auckland who took home a whopping $44.3m four years ago.



Powerball fever struck the nation ahead of last night's mammoth draw.

Punters flocked to Lotto retailers in droves ahead of the draw, hoping to be the country's latest multi-millionaire.

And the slim odds of winning – one in 38 million – didn't put hopeful players off either, as queues snaked in and out of shops in the hours before the draw.

With millions of Kiwis flocking to buy tickets ahead of the draw, you might have assumed your chances of hitting the jackpot became slimmer with every ticket sale.

Lotto presenter Jordan Vandermade announces the lucky numbers last night. Image / Lotto NZ
Lotto presenter Jordan Vandermade announces the lucky numbers last night. Image / Lotto NZ

But, as University of Otago statistician Dr Matthew Parry told the Herald, you'd be wrong.

"The probability of winning doesn't change, that's always fixed no matter how many people are playing in the lottery," he said.


"It just depends on the numbers that come out [but the] more people play, more people are likely to win so, therefore, your payout slightly gets smaller."

Two lucky Powerball winners won $19.1m each in October last year, sharing the same ticket numbers for a $38m draw.

Four months on, one of the pair has just bought their dream house, even if she still drives the same $2000 car from before her days as a multi-millionaire.

"We've always dreamt of owning our own home and now it's a reality – though it's still quite hard to believe."

Both winners of the $38m draw urged the future Powerball winner to keep things simple.

"My top piece of advice is to take your time, make sure you have a solid plan in place, and you have a financial adviser that you're comfortable with," one said.


But Saturday's winner will likely have enough to shell out on a set of bagpipes, a gastric bypass, Prada shoes, or whatever takes their fancy, in the vein of past Lotto winners.

According to the Winners' Book, most Powerball winners splashed on a new house, paid off mortgages, helped family members, travelled overseas and donated to charity.

People queue to buy lotto tickets at the lotto and dairy at 977 Dominion Road as the Powerball jackpots to $42million yesterday. Photo / Michael Craig
People queue to buy lotto tickets at the lotto and dairy at 977 Dominion Road as the Powerball jackpots to $42million yesterday. Photo / Michael Craig

For others, professional tattoos, face-lifts, and even a buffalo-hunting trip fitted the bill.

But Sunday is not the day to start spending newfound millions, Lotto winners are warned.

Craig Offwood from ANZ's Private Bank team told the Herald that the moments after striking gold were "definitely not" the time to make any rash decisions.

"From our experience, it's clear what winners do with their prize has a huge impact on the rest of their lives.


"Over the years, we have seen some great success stories. Equally, there have been some cases where they have squandered their jackpot.

"After failing to heed advice, they have gone on a spending spree with the unfortunate belief the winnings would last forever.

"The last thing you want is to find yourself with no money in 10 years' time."

Saturday's winner can expect to visit a special room at Lotto's head office in Auckland, complete with chocolate, champagne and even tissues.

They'll also receive a book full of tips on how to handle the life-changing win.

"The decision about what you do with your winnings is entirely yours - you will shape your future," the 60-page book states.


"We hope this booklet helps you to understand the steps ahead of you, make your goals easier to reach and, of course, enjoy your winnings!

"We wish you all the best for the future, and hope you'll look back on the day you found out you were a winner as one of the happiest days of your life."