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On Saturday night, millions of Kiwi Lotto players will learn if they are to become the nation’s latest multi-millionaire.
Eluding players on Wednesday night, the already impressive jackpot swelled a further $5 million to an eye-watering $35 million.
Stores were preparing for an influx of customers, Lotto’s head of communications and corporate social responsibility Marie Winfield said.
Last week, on February 12, only 800,000 tickets were sold but the numbers had been rising each time the draw went unclaimed, she said.
“It’s too early to say what the number of tickets sold on Saturday night will be, but we’re expecting quite a big increase from last Saturday.
“The number of tickets sold for the Saturday 15 February and Wednesday 19 February draws have been approximately 1.2 million and 1.1 million respectively.”
Kissing tickets, rubbing old trophies and waiting for specific machines were some of the superstitions of New Zealand’s luckiest Lotto store customers.
At the country’s second-luckiest store ever, Richmond Night N Day owner David Smolenski said customers must have a sixth-sense.
“Some customers wait for a specific machine or person to serve them, considering them luckier than the rest of us,” he said.
“Others only want to buy their tickets on a certain day at a certain time because it’s been lucky for them in the past.
“Then there’s the ones who want us to kiss their tickets for good luck – I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked to kiss people’s tickets.”
Elsewhere, most of Lotto’s luck seems to be struck in the South Island where five major wins had taken place in the first seven weeks of 2020.
New Zealand’s biggest Lotto win was $44 million, won by a young Hibiscus Coast couple in November 2016.
The next-highest was $33 million won by a self-proclaimed “westie” in September 2013, and $33 million won by a 10-person syndicate in Taupō in September 2017.