Lotto tickets in hot demand ahead of tonight’s $20m jackpot

A brief history of Lotteries throughout the ages. Video / NZ Herald

Kiwis are rushing into lucky Lotto stores ahead of tonight’s $20 million jackpot draw.

Unichem Stortford Lodge Pharmacy in Hastings – which has been dubbed among the nation’s luckiest stores having sold more First Division-winning tickets than any other in New Zealand – said it had experienced a morning rush.

“It’s busy at the moment that’s for sure,” a retail worker in the store said.

She said the lustre of her store’s lucky reputation drew in extra customers – in fact so much so she had no time to talk on the phone and hung up.

In Auckland, WestCity Lotto in Henderson’s West City shopping mall last year sold a winning $17m ticket.

The store worker there said the Lotto jackpot had got the attention of punters.

“It’s been busy yes, because of the $20m,” she said.

The life-changing $20m sum would be the largest prize since a Kaikōura man won $8.2m last month.

He earlier said he had no knowledge of his win until his partner texted him: “Did you win Lotto last night? Someone in Kaikōura did!”

Lucky outlets like Auckland's West City Lotto in Henderson are reporting big ticket demand ahead of tonight's $20m jackpot. Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Lucky outlets like Auckland’s West City Lotto in Henderson are reporting big ticket demand ahead of tonight’s $20m jackpot. Photo / Sylvie Whinray

Sure enough, he was New Zealand’s newest multi-millionaire. The man was in “utter disbelief” of his win.

Tonight’s prize would be the third-largest win of 2022 after an Aucklander won the year’s first Powerball draw of $21m in January.

Another Aucklander won $28.6m in March.

Lotto NZ said the Powerball number that has been drawn the most this year was 2, however it said the chances for a big win was only one in 38 million.

While tonight’s draw could see someone $17m richer, Lotto NZ has received flak after RNZ reported children as young as 9 were gambling through Lotto.

Meanwhile, RNZ also reported Lotto NZ was being urged not to launch an online Bingo game lest it increase gambling harm among Māori and Pasifika.

The Health Promotion Agency’s 2020 Health and Lifestyles Survey found Māori were three times more likely to be moderate-risk or problem gamblers than non-Māori, and Pasifika were 2.5 times more likely.

Lotto NZ acknowledged Gambling Harm Awareness Week, held last week. It said, “We’re committed to minimising gambling harm and believe in educating all our players to play smart.

“We have numerous tips and resources available to players … which encourages players to explore their beliefs and behaviours about gambling,” it said.

But for those who do play tonight, Lotto NZ advised people to check their tickets “as soon as possible”. A number of Lotto players this year have been unaware of their multimillion-dollar winnings.

A Northland man won $1m from a ticket he had forgotten about.

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