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Final hours ahead of mega-rich $50 million Lotto draw, online players told to screenshot tickets

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Lotto punters are being urged to take a screenshot of digital tickets ahead of the anticipated scramble to check results after tonight’s must-win $50 million draw.

Queues have begun spilling onto the street at Lotto stores around the country as an unprecedented 2 million tickets are expected to be bought tonight by Kiwis hoping to win the biggest jackpot of the year.

A banner on the MyLotto website advised: “High demand after the must be won draw could delay you checking your ticket.

“If you are eager to check your numbers, please take a screenshot of your ticket.”

People will have to go into a virtual queue if they’re purchasing a ticket on MyLotto in the last hour before the draw closes, between 6.30pm and 7.30pm and the queue system will be used after the draw results are released.

The MyLotto site will also be closed for longer than usual, not opening until 10am on Sunday. It should allow enough time for the processing of the “extraordinarily high volume” of tickets, Lotto NZ said.

Powerball ticket holders are being asked to take a screenshot of their due to the expected high demand on the MyLotto website. Photo / Sylvie Whinray

Expected high demand

For Wednesday night, 52 per cent of tickets were purchased online and 48 per cent in-store. More than half the tickets were bought on the day.

“We have done a huge amount of preparation and MyLotto handled the volumes very well on Wednesday night so we are confident going into the draw,” Lotto NZ’s head of corporate communications Lucy Fullerton said.

“Our use of a virtual queue to manage traffic has been very important in ensuring a good experience once people log in to MyLotto, and so we will be using this again on Saturday night.”

Fullerton said as of last night 1.3 million tickets had already been sold and Lotto was on track to sell more than 2 million by the time sales closed this evening.

With just hours to go before the big draw a shopkeeper in Auckland’s Ponsonby shopping strip said they had been busy but not as busy as the last $50 million draw.

”A lot of people buy tickets online now.”

Lotto NZ has also said it will not reveal the locations or stores where the winning ticket or tickets were sold until Sunday morning. These details are usually released on a Saturday night with the results.

Lotto NZ’s communication about the draw itself would go ahead normally, including revealing the number of winning tickets and the amount won by each.

“We would like to thank customers in advance for their patience as we manage what we expect to be exceptional interest in the results of this huge draw,” Fullerton said.

Must be won

In a Must Be Won draw, if no one wins Powerball First Division (that means getting all 7 numbers correct) the entire jackpot rolls down to the next Powerball division where there are winners.

If there is more than one winner in a Powerball prize division, the prize is split equally between them.

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