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Lotto’s $30m jackpot: ‘Don’t leave it to the last minute’ as queues expected ahead of big draw

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The Herald answers all your Lotto questions, including where to get tickets, how to claim your prize, and what happens if the jackpot keeps going up.

Lotto Powerball has jackpotted to $30 million this weekend – the second month in a row such a large prize pool is up for grabs.

Last month a single ticket sold in the lower North Island town of Carterton took home the same jackpot – the largest amount so far of 2024.

It was later revealed the winning ticket was bought by a family syndicate in Wellington.

Lotto NZ revealed the family were occasional players who only buy a ticket when the jackpot is over $20m.

Lotto counters around New Zealand are always busy ahead of the big jackpots – especially with the recent closure of some supermarket Lotto counters.

Get your Lotto tickets early

Lotto NZ encourages players to get in early, by picking up a ticket before draw day or early on Saturday, to avoid the busiest times in-store and online.

To see the results as they roll out watch the draw live on TVNZ 1. Photo / Michael Bradley

Punters need to have purchased the physical yellow ticket in-store or online through MyLotto before 7.30 pm on Saturday for the 8 pm draw.

For larger jackpots there is a higher demand on MyLotto for purchasing and checking tickets.

Lotto NZ has set up a virtual queue to manage peak times – to avoid the online queue Lotto NZ encourages customers to buy their tickets earlier in the day.

Tickets can be checked in person at a Lotto counter or online if ticket holders have a MyLotto account.

What to do if you win

Ticket-holders can see immediately if they have won if they have purchased a ticket through MyLotto and prizes of $1000 or less are automatically credited to the account.

For prizes over $1000 winners have to fill in an online prize form.

Tickets can be checked in-store the following day. Photo / Dean Purcell
Tickets can be checked in-store the following day. Photo / Dean Purcell

Results are available immediately after the live draw on TVNZ 1 about 8.30pm on draw nights Wednesday and Saturday.

They can be found through the MyLotto app and online at www.mylotto.co.nz or at Lotto NZ retailers and on nzherald.co.nz.

Winners with a physical ticket must still visit a Lotto retailer to claim their prize.

For the Powerball jackpot to be claimed a ticket holder must get all six Lotto numbers correct as well as the added Powerball number.

What happens to the jackpot if nobody wins?

If the jackpot is not claimed tonight the jackpot rolls over each draw until it is won.

The longest Powerball jackpot run in Lotto NZ history before it was struck was 24 consecutive draws.

If more than one person wins Powerball the jackpot is shared equally amongst the winning tickets.

Lotto NZ said when one person wins a larger jackpot there is a rippled effect.

“Most, if not all, our big winners share their winnings with others, including family, friends, communities, and charities. This means that the win makes a huge difference to more than just one person,” a Lotto spokeswoman said.

Under the game rules, the Powerball jackpot cannot go above $50 million or to run longer than 52 games – so when it gets to either of these points, there is a Must Be Won draw.

The New Zealand winnings are small in comparison to overseas Lotteries. This month a Lotto player in South Australia has won the A$150 million ($162m) Powerball jackpot – the third-biggest lotto prize in Australian history.

The ticket was bought in-store from a lottery outlet in Adelaide and the winner’s identity remains a mystery.

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