Tonight's $50m Lotto 'must be won' prize has sparked a buying frenzy - with 2200 tickets being sold each minute.

"We were selling nearly 2000 tickets every minute at around 3pm today, but expecting that to increase to at least 2200 per minute during our peak time between 6pm – 7pm," a spokeswoman said.

More than 2 million tickets have already been sold for tonight's draw.

One extremely lucky person could win the largest ever Lotto prize in New Zealand's history tonight.


With $50 million up for grabs in tonight's Lotto draw - which must be won tonight - the life-changing sum could be spent in 50 million different ways.

But a personal wealth expert, who has dealt with dozens of Lotto winners in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, says the first thing you should do is wait.

Nick Crawford, a financial adviser at Auckland-based wealth management firm The Private Office, and author of "Sudden Money And How to Handle It", wouldn't advise a spending spree in the first days of the win.

"My advice would be to take your time, whether we are in a Covid situation or not," he told the Herald.

"I would advise them to wait three months, ideally six months before making any major decision, whether that's to move house or to change jobs to make an investment.

"Give yourself a bit of time to get used to what's happened, like you would in any life-changing situation."

What are your chances of winning the big one?

Tonight's draw is just the seventh time Powerball has reached a Must Be Won draw, with a jackpot of a life-changing of over $30 million.

In a Must Be Won draw, if no single ticket wins Powerball First Division, the prize pool rolls down to the next highest division with winners.


And if you don't become a multi-millionaire tonight, you could still win big: tonight's Strike Four prize of $600,000 is still up for grabs.

While one lucky person might take home the $50 million as level 3 restrictions remain in Auckland and level 2 in the rest of the country, they won't see a dramatic increase in their millions were they to put it directly into a high interest bank account.

"Interest rates are at historic low levels, so you're not going to get a great return," Crawford said.

"So, if you make perhaps a three month term deposit at a rate of two per cent per annum, over three month's you'll get a quarter of that, based on the amount of money you've invested."

But the bank is the safest place to put it your millions initially, Crawford said.

"With a large sum, you might want to split it between the four main banks, with 25 per cent in each, removing the risk of one of those companies having a disaster and you being caught up in that."

Fancy your chances of winning $50 million? It must be won tonight. Photo / File
Fancy your chances of winning $50 million? It must be won tonight. Photo / File

Contrary to what you'd think, newly-minted millionaires often spent the first few weeks after the win feeling anxious and worried, Crawford said.

"For a lot of people, if you're inexperienced with handling large sums of money, you start to feel anxious or worried.

"You've got to live this new life 24 hours a day and for some people that can be quite stressful, because you are in an emotional rollercoaster of who to tell and where to put the money."

And when it's time to spend a few of your many millions?

"Our advice with big sums of money, is that first of all you want to focus on your goals, what is important to you and what you want to do with your life," Crawford said.

He advised sitting down with a financial planner to work through your goals and consider future investments.

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"Normally a bit of a spread is the right thing to do, you don't want too much money in one area.

"Certainly you'd want to buy a property and a batch and maybe an investment property. Then you'd want to look a wider range of assets, so shares and bonds and maybe overseas investments and a good chunk of cash in the bank.

"You want a diverse set of assets that should help you to maintain your money, it's not about making more at that point."

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Nearly 1.6 million tickets were sold for last Wednesday's draw, and Lotto NZ is expecting more than 2 million tickets to be sold for tonight's Must Be Won Draw.

Lotto's head of communications and corporate social responsibility Marie Winfield says however the balls fall tonight, the result will be life-changing for those with the golden ticket.

"It's guaranteed that one or more lucky Kiwis are going to win big this Saturday – even if the prize is split," she said.


"The most important thing right now is that our communities stay safe, so anyone buying tickets in-store needs to keep health and safety top of mind, and follow the alert level Covid-19 health and safety guidelines."