The $50 million mega-jackpot is set to be just the sixth time in history Powerball has reached a must-win draw worth $30 million or more.

Should there be a single winner on Saturday, they will take home the largest prize in Powerball history, eclipsing the $44m an Auckland couple scored in a "Must-Be-Won" draw in November, 2016.

The current second highest win was also a must-win draw in September 2013, when one Auckland winner took home $33m.

Other must win mega draws have included a $30m draw in October 2008 in which the eventual $30.5m winnings were shared by five people taking home $6.1m each and a $35.2m jackpot three years later won by two players.

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"With a Powerball Must-Be-Won this Saturday, it's guaranteed that one or more lucky Kiwis are going to win big – even if the prize is split," Lotto NZ's Marie Winfield said.

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Saturday's jackpot could see ticket sales make history, with them likely to tip the 2016 record of 2.4 million tickets sold. Photo / File
Saturday's jackpot could see ticket sales make history, with them likely to tip the 2016 record of 2.4 million tickets sold. Photo / File

It comes as this Saturday's record prize pool had created "phenomenal" interest and excitement among Kiwis.

Typically, Lotto sold about 500,000 tickets for lower jackpot draws.

"But with the jackpot at $42 million last night, sales surged to just over 1.7 million," Winfield said.

More than two million tickets were now expected to be sold for Saturday's draw.

The highest number of tickets ever sold for a Powerball draw took place on July 9, 2016, when 2.4 million tickets were snapped up for the $40m must-win draw.

It's now been four years since Lotto NZ last held a must-win draw, when a Hibiscus Coast man and his partner won the $44m in November 2016.

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He was on a smoko break at work when he checked his lucky ticket.

"As soon as I saw I had all the numbers on one line I just yelled 'holy s***' - my boss thought I'd chopped my arm off with a saw," the winner said.

As for why it capped its jackpot at $50m, Winfield said Lotto NZ was conscious it was a "large sum of money and more people are reaching into their pockets this week to buy tickets".

People queue to buy Lotto tickets at the Lotto and Dairy on Dominion Rd, Auckland, on Wednesday for the $42m Powerball which has since jackpotted to $50m. Photo / Michael Craig
People queue to buy Lotto tickets at the Lotto and Dairy on Dominion Rd, Auckland, on Wednesday for the $42m Powerball which has since jackpotted to $50m. Photo / Michael Craig

There was also a good chance the Powerball would be split due to the Must-Be-Won draw.

Three of the five must-win draws resulted in multiple winners.

Last night's draw also had 38 people win second division.

Lotto NZ donates all its profits to more than 3000 groups across the country.

This had added up to $2.2 billion given back to Kiwi communities over the past decade.