Tonight’s $37 million Lotto Powerball draw has been won by a single lucky punter in the town of Paraparaumu, north of Wellington.
The winning ticket was sold at New World Kapiti in Paraparaumu. The town has a population of 30,000.
It was the largest draw this year and the fourth-highest in New Zealand’s history. The winner tonight becomes the tenth Powerball multi-millionaire of 2023, and their victory comes over two months after a couple from Christchurch won a $33.5 million Powerball prize.
Tonight’s numbers were 17, 29, 7, 19, 38 and 36.
The bonus ball was 20 and Powerball was 5.
Eight people won First Division, splitting $1 million for $125,000 each. But only one of these tickets had the Powerball and scooped a massive $37,125,000.
The other seven lucky Lotto tickets were purchased by players from Northland and two players from Auckland at New World Albany in Auckland, Orakei Mini Mart in Auckland, Four Square Te Puke in Te Puke, Napier City Pak’NSave in Napier, and on MyLotto.
Two other players with be celebrating after they each won $500,000 with Strike Four. The winning Strike tickets were purchased by a player from Dunedin at Matata Superfoods in Whakatane and on MyLotto.
Lotto NZ corporate communication manager Sarah McCormack earlier told the Herald they were expecting to sell well over a million tickets for tonight’s draw.
If the Powerball was struck by a single ticket tonight, she said, it would be the third-highest prize won by a single ticket in the country’s history.
“We encourage players to get in early to pick up their ticket on draw days, to avoid the busiest times both in-store and online,” she said.
“Our site held up well last draw night – there were no technical issues. We do usually see an upswing in traffic to the site on draw days, particularly just before ticket sales close at 7.30pm and post-draw with people checking tickets.
“If we need to, we can activate our virtual queue to manage traffic at peak periods.”
The fortune on the table tonight comes a little over a month after a Christchurch couple won $33.5m.
In January this year, an Aucklander took home $23.5m – the first Lotto multimillionaire of the year.
The third-highest jackpot in history was struck two years ago, when a Pōkeno family won $42.1m. The second-highest jackpot was won in 2016: a $44m prize went to a young couple from the Hibiscus Coast.
The biggest jackpot was a mammoth $50m draw in 2020, split between 10 players. It is small-fry, though, compared to the largest amount won in a lottery. A player from South Carolina, in the eastern US, won the equivalent of NZ$2.4 billion in 2019.
Punters may want to check their sock drawers for tickets, where the lucky Christchurch couple kept theirs for days as they worked out what they would do with their winnings.
The couple, who did not want to be identified, said they were overwhelmed by the magnitude of the win and needed time to process it before coming forward.
“The winning line was right at the bottom, and the numbers just sort of jumped out at me – all of them,” the winner said.
“I couldn’t breathe at first – I was almost hyperventilating.”
The woman said her husband had already gone to bed and she had to wake him up to confirm the prize.
“I woke him up and said, ‘Can you please check this for me? These numbers are dancing on the paper. Is it actually real?’”
After her husband confirmed the jackpot was real, the couple said it was hard to go back to sleep.
A personal wealth expert, who has dealt with dozens of Lotto winners in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, says you shouldn’t go on a spending spree.
Nick Crawford, author of Sudden Money And How to Handle It, thinks the first thing winners should do is to sit on their cash for a few months.
“Don’t lock all of the money away but don’t do anything major until you get a chance to think about it,” he told the Herald.
“If you’ve got a mortgage, then getting rid of that is nearly always a good thing to do because interest rates on term deposits will almost certainly be lower than the interest you pay on your mortgage.
“After that, just wait for a few months until you feel ready to make the next big decisions.”
After sitting on your new-found wealth for a wee while, Crawford suggests meeting with a financial planner.
Talking with an expert will allow the winner to figure out what’s important to them, what risks they should take, who they should tell, and where to put their money.
Another key thing people who come into money should do is figure out what their money personality is, because that will dictate how they spend their fortune, Crawford says.
“We find that, if you were a spender before you won the Lotto, you’re going to be a spender after.
“If you were frugal and saved money, then just because you won doesn’t mean things are going to change your habits.
“I think it’s really good to stop, talk and think about what your money personality is, then you can work out what the keys to success for you will be.”