Two people share $50 million mega Lotto draw

People queued up outside Lotto outlets around the country to get tickets for the record $50...
People queued up outside Lotto outlets around the country to get tickets for the record $50 million Lotto Powerball draw. Photo: NZ Herald
Two New Zealanders will wake up on Sunday as over-night multi-millionaires after striking it lucky in tonight's mammoth $50 million Lotto Powerball draw.

The pair each won $25.11 million in Lotto's biggest night since it debuted in New Zealand on August 1, 1987.

Both multi-millionaires are Aucklanders; one ticket purchased by a punter online, while the second was purchased at Countdown Manukau City Mall.

"Kiwis all over the country have been dreaming what they would do if they won Powerball and now two lucky players are about to find out," Marie Winfield, Head of Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility at Lotto NZ said.

"The champagne is on ice and we are ready to celebrate with New Zealand's newest big winners."

More than 2.5m tickets were sold for the draw which offered the game's most lucrative prize ever.

The winning numbers were: 4, 18, 27, 25, 32, 28.

The bonus number was 37 and the Powerball was 3.

Lotto Powerball jackpotted to the mouth-watering $50m after it wasn't struck on 'Big Wednesday' – when the kitty had reached $42m. The $50m figure is the cap-limit that Powerball is allowed to reach in New Zealand.

A staggering 2000 tickets were being sold a minute in the hours leading up to the 8pm draw.

And as of 6pm, 2.3m tickets had been sold.

One player in the Hawke's Bay spent $2000, buying 20 tickets for the big draw.

Dianne Dairy owner Sukhjit Singh said he was blown away by the huge purchase, initally thinking the spend up was "crazy".

Given the huge interest in the draw, some people had trouble logging into Lotto's website to check the result. And the Lotto app also experienced difficulties in dealing with online traffic.

The biggest ever single win in Lotto's history was the $44m won via a ticket sold at the Dairy Flat Food Mart, north of Auckland in November 2016.

Ahead of the draw today, Lotto NZ released advice from those lucky winners for future newly-minted Kiwi Lotto players.

"First of all, don't have a heart attack! That's the most important thing to remember," laughed the one of the winners.

"But seriously, my best piece of advice is to remember to eat and sleep in the first two weeks. It's the little things like that that are easy to forget in the early days after a big win.

"Finally, the best thing we did was get good financial advice. Make sure they're on the same wavelength as you and go into the conversation with a good idea of what you want to do long-term."

And when asked how to celebrate, the winners said: "Get all the family you want to tell together and let them know the good news straight away – it's so nice having people to talk to as you get your head around it.

"If you're planning on giving gifts, explain the 'what and 'how' to them upfront so everyone is on the same page. Sharing the winnings is most of the fun – it's a moment you'll never forget."

After their big win, the next highest single triumph was $33m, bought from OneStep Ahead in Auckland in 2013, followed by $30m from Richmond Superette in Taupo in 2017.

The most recent Powerball prize, a cool $17.1m, was in late December after a customer bought a ticket from The Market Store in Twizel.

In October, two separate Lotto winners from Auckland split a Powerball jackpot of $38m, taking home $19.1m each.

And two years ago a record 40 individual ticket holders shared a First Divison prize worth more than $1m.

Speaking late on Saturday morning, Winfield said outlets were flat out providing tickets for hopeful winners around the country.

"There is an incredible buzz around the country as Lotto players from all over New Zealand get a ticket for the largest draw in Lotto history," Winfield said.

"There are already 1.3 million tickets in to win with tonight's draw – 1 million more than we have usually sold at the same point with a $5m jackpot. That's a massive 300 per cent increase and the day's not over yet.

"Lotto NZ recommends that anyone who wants to be in to win for tonight's draw gets their ticket early to avoid the queues. We wish everyone around the country the best of luck for tonight's draw."

The previous record for tickets entered into a single draw in Lotto history took place in July 2016 when 2.4 million tickets were sold for the $40 million Must Be Won Draw.

The two big winners from the $50m draw now await a date with Lotto NZ's head office in Auckland, where a special room stocked with champagne, chocolate and even tissues for the emotional types awaits. Winners will also be presented with a book offering tips on how to come to terms with their new-found wealth.

"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."

One of the steps Lotto advised winners to follow was to create a timetable for action to help work out what winners wanted to do with their money.

Immediate action included deciding on who to tell, depositing money in an interesting-earning back account, consider purchases and a timeline on what to spend, talk to family and close friends about what you could do and also decide whether they should seek professional advice.

Within a month of the win, newly cashed up Kiwis were told to work within their new financial position, prioritise what to do with money including making a list of priorities and visit a financial adviser.

Winners were also urged to update their will, or if they didn't already have one, get one completed.

Advice from previous winners included;

• 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, and

• 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.

Statistics released from Lotto showed 85 per cents of big winners kept working, including remaining in the same job as before, 98 per cent still regularly purchased Lotto tickets, while 73 per cent revealed they had won via a Lucky Dip ticket.

Nineteen per cent said they had shared their winning news solely with their partners, 31 per cent told their immediate family, 8 per cent told everybody they knew and 5 per cent kept the big win to themselves.

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