Strong online demand for tickets for Lotto's mammoth $38 million Powerball draw tonight have resulted in delays for some punters being able to buy tickets.
A message on the Mylotto.co.nz states: "Due to the high jackpot, we have more visitors than normal and you may have trouble accessing the site. If so, we're sorry, please try again later."
And a separate message to punters trying to login states: "Due to high demand, MyLotto is currently unavailable.
"We're working hard to get MyLotto back up and running as soon as possible, so please try again later. We're sorry for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience."
Winfield, Lotto NZ's head of communications and corporate social responsibility, told the Herald shortly before 6.30pm that there were no issues with Lotto's website.
But it was not unusual for Lotto to warn punters of potential accessing the site on big nights such as tonight.
In response to questions about the post to punters who had been unable to login, Winfield said she had been told there were no issues with the MyLotto website.
Earlier in the day, queues of people waiting to get their hands on tonight's winning Lotto ticket have been stretching out the door at New Zealand's luckiest store.
Unichem Stortford Lodge Pharmacy, in Hastings, Hawke's Bay, has sold a winning First Division ticket 49 times and hopes to reach the half-century mark with tonight's $38 million Powerball draw.
Pharmacist Susan Donaldson said the pharmacy was full of hype this morning and people were rushing through the doors as soon as the shop opened at 9am.
"Three-quarters of the queue is out the door," Donaldson told the Herald.
"Everybody in that queue is convinced they are going to win."
She said even the staff had purchased tickets and were excited about tonight's big draw.
"We've got a staff syndicate."
The Hastings store sells six times the number of Lotto tickets as any other store in the region in an average week.
Before a $35m draw in February, the pharmacy was so busy it was forced to operate three Lotto machines at once to keep the queue down.
The jackpot tonight is worth $38m, making it potentially the second-highest Powerball win of all time.
Close to 1.3m tickets were sold ahead of the midweek draw but Lotto NZ was expecting about 1.6m tickets to be purchased before the big reveal.
If the prize this evening is won by a single ticket holder, it will be the second-highest total win in Powerball's 19-year history.
The biggest Powerball prize of $44.1m went to a Hibiscus Coast couple in 2016.
Winfield said they were expecting it to be really busy in-store and online so were encouraging people to buy their tickets early.
In February, 2.6 million tickets were sold for Lotto NZ's $50m must-be-won draw which was won by two separate ticket holders, who each won $25.1m.
Sales peaked on the night of the draw between 6pm and 7pm when a jaw-dropping 2500 tickets were sold every minute - 150,000 in one hour.
Powerball kicked off 13 years later, in 2001, and since its inception, a total of 191 Kiwis have experienced the life-changing moment of winning it.
There has been a total of 1981 draws since Lotto NZ started, with the six most frequently drawn numbers being 1, 7, 22, 19, 18, and 12.
Meanwhile, the most frequently drawn Powerball numbers have been 2, followed by 3, 6, 1, 5, 8, 4, 7, 10, and 9.
Lotto big winners are presented with a book offering support and advice – including of who to tell of their win, and options for investing.
• 81 per cent of winners bought a new house.
• 100 per cent of winners helped family and friends with their winnings.
• 50 per cent of winners helped charities.
• 75 per cent of winners indulged in some international travel.
Interesting facts about Lotto's big winners
• 85 per cent of big winners kept working, remaining in the same job as before their win.
• 98 per cent of big winners still regularly buy Lotto tickets.
• 73 per cent of big winners surveyed won with a Lucky Dip ticket.
• 32 per cent were in their Lotto store when they found out they won, 27 per cent checked online and 26 per cent were watching the live Lotto draw.
• 19 per cent only told their other half, 31 per cent told their immediate family, 8 per cent told everybody and 5 per cent kept it to themselves.
• 23 per cent kept the winning ticket in their purse or wallet, 11 per cent in a drawer, and 5 per cent under their pillow.
Previous winners' advice
Think before you spend: It's best to spend some time to think about your win and what you really want to do with the money before you start forking out.
• Secrecy: Be really careful who you decide to tell about your good fortune.
• Financial advice: Getting help from a professional, they know what they're up to.
• Have fun: It's important to remember to take time to do the things you've always wanted to do for fun, once you've locked in funds for the future.
New Zealand's top 5 luckiest Lotto stores
1. Unichem Stortford Lodge Pharmacy, Hastings, with 49 first-division wins.
2. Richmond Night 'n Day, Nelson, with 35 first-division wins.
3=. Pak'nSave Riccarton, Christchurch; and Coastlands Lotto, Paraparaumu with 33 first division wins.
5. Hornby Mall Lotto, Christchurch, with 31 first-division wins.