The Biggest Lotto Win NZ
Lotto players all around the world buy lotto tickets with one purpose in mind. To win a life-changing sum of money. Across the country, players read stories of New Zealand Powerball jackpot wins – and see signs for a ‘must be won’ draw, where rollover after rollover means that one ticket – a lucky ticket – could win the jackpot prize. Dreams of Powerball winners drive people to grab those online lotto tickets with the hopes of joining that lucky few that managed to bag the winning ticket.
But what is the biggest win? That is the question on the lips of many. In the history of the New Zealand lottery, what was the biggest amount of prize money ever won by a single ticket of winning numbers? Yes, of course, it’s nice to win a dream car or a million dollars, but it’s the promise of the ticket holder and its winning numbers earning multi-millions that really drives the ticket sales.
The History of Lotto NZ
The New Zealand Lottery Commission, which is now trading as Lotto New Zealand and has been since 2013, is a Crown Entity. As such, it is responsible for operating nationwide lotteries all across New Zealand. The company was originally founded back in 1987 under the Gambling Act 2003. When it was first created, its original game was simply The Lotto, which to this day remains its most popular game. Generally, this boasts maximum prize money of $4 million for the winning tickets top prize in a single draw. There are also the added optional extras of Powerball and Lotto strike that you can buy with every ticket.
However, it now offers a variety of other games including the Daily Bullseye, four daily Keno draws and it also offers a variety of scratchcards, known as Instant Kiwi. You can play Instant Kiwi online or you can head over to recognised retail outlets and buy your scratchcards in person. To purchase a ticket or scratchcard, players must be aged 18 years or older.
Lotto NZ’s Head Office is currently in Auckland and it is run by agency executives Matthew Boyd and Chris Lyman.
The Biggest New Zealand Powerball Jackpot Wins
So, what was the largest prize ever won? Well, the absolutely life-changing sum of $44m was one by one single ticket holder in the Powerball draw back in November 2016. The winning ticket was bought at the Dairy Flat Food Mart and was a combination of two prizes – a $66,667 lotto NZ win plus the $44,000 Powerball win.
As you can imagine, knowing that the top prizes at stake would make you overnight millionaires, it was that very same draw, on November 9 2016 that also boasts the record for the most tickets ever sold. Winning big prizes such as this always attracts more customers – and with over $40 million up for grabs, more people than ever went for the win.
Most Winners of a Lotto Jackpot Prize
It was a matter of luck that despite so many people buying a lotto ticket for the November 9 draw in 2016 it was only one ticket that won the big prize. This isn’t always the case as it is often two tickets or more that clinch the big prize. In fact, there have been times when many, many tickets have all shared the prize. Indeed, on 19 September 2018, the record for the most first division winners in one draw was set. This saw a total of 40 first division winners. As a result, the winners of the jackpot won just $25,000, which was even less than the second division winners – who won $27,431 each!
The Biggest New Zealand Powerball Jackpot Shared Win
In 2016, we saw the biggest single ticket win in New Zealand, where the lucky ticket holder scooped all of the top prize. However, in February 2020, two lucky Aucklanders shared the biggest lotto prize of $50 million since the introduction of the game in 1987. Both players won $25.11 million each. One bought his winning ticket online, while the second of the winning tickets was bought at Countdown Manukau City Mall. Whilst there were actually 9 First division winners, only two had the magic Powerball number. On the same night, three winners shared the Four Strike Jackpot, with each winner claiming $333,333.
The Different Types of Lotto Games
Although it started with just the standard lotto NZ game, the success it saw had a huge ripple effect and since then, there have been several other lotto games created. Not only do these games give players the chance to become overnight millionaires, but they also work for the greater good. Profits from the lotteries are used to help local communities to fund different projects such as arts, sports and community projects. As such, lottery games are often touted as being as much about Corporate Social Responsibility as profit. Here are some of the most popular lotto run games in New Zealand right now:
This is the most popular of all games, where getting the lucky ticket makes you rich. The game originally started back in 1987 and the draw took place every week on Saturday at 8pm. However, since 2015 it started drawing on Wednesday as well.
In the main game, there are six balls drawn plus one bonus ball from a machine containing forty numbers. To be a first division winner, you would need to match all six numbers – on the same line. You can choose your own numbers or you can request a lucky dip. Each ticket costs $0.70 per line. Here are the different divisions and winning amounts:
Odds For a Win
|1||6||1 in 3,838,380||$350,000+|
|2||5 + bonus ball||1 in 639,730||$19,995|
|3||5||1 in 19,386||$601|
|4||4 + bonus ball||1 in 7,754||$55|
|5||4||1 in 485||$30|
|6||3 + bonus ball||1 in 363||$22|
|7||3||1 in 35||$4 bonus lines|
Extra Draws: Since 1998, they started introducing extra draws throughout the year. This meant that every lotto ticket that was bought would automatically be entered for the extra draw at no extra cost. However, all numbers would have to match to win a share of the $1 million cash prize.
At one point, they also introduced ‘Guaranteed Millionaires’ – between 2002 and 2004. This saw a millionaire being drawn every week from the division 1 winners. There could be more than one millionaire drawn. The rest of the money was then split between the rest of the division one winners – depending on how many there were. If there was only one division 1 winner, they won automatically. If there was no division 1 winner, then the winner would be drawn from the division 2 winners.
Lotto Strike Draws
This addition to the game was introduced back in 1993. This allows a lotto player to add four Lotto Strike numbers to their tickets for $1. You would then need to match the strike numbers in the exact order and match the first four numbers of the standard lotto draw. The minimum prize for winning is $100,000 and it keeps on increasing by that amount until it reaches $700,000 without a winner.
How to Win
|Strike 4||Match 4 in exact order of first 4 lotto nos drawn||1 in 2,193,360||$300,000+|
|Strike 3||Match 3 in exact order of 3 of the first 4 lotto nos||1 in 15,232||$668|
|Strike 2||Match 2 in exact order of 2 of the first lotto nos||1 in 274||$67|
|Strike 1||Match 1 of the first four lotto nos drawn||1 in 111||1 bonus line|
This is where the really big wins come in – the life changers. The Powerball game was first introduced in 2001 and it allows players to enhance a line by buying a Powerball number. However, if you do choose to play Powerball, a minimum of 4 Powerballs must be bought per ticket. This is a number that is between 1 and 10 and is drawn from a separate machine to the lotto machine. If you do manage to get a winning Powerball number on top of a winning lotto line, you will win a share of the main Powerball prize pool as well as the lotto prize pool.
If you do win the First Division Powerball, then you need to have first division lotto win plus a winning Powerball on the same line. The prize you could get could be huge – but the odds reflect this. The biggest jackpot ever available for a First Division Powerball win was $50 million – won by two tickets. However, one lucky ticket holder managed to scoop a $44 million win in 2016. The maximum win is $50 million and once this is passed, they will hold a ‘Must be Won’ draw.
Average Total Prize
|1||Lotto Division 1 win + Powerball||1 in 38,383,800||$11 million +|
|2||Lotto Division 2 win + Powerball||1 in 6,397,300||$37,252|
|3||Lotto Division 3 win + Powerball||1 in 193,858||$1,155|
|4||Lotto Division 4 win + Powerball||1 in 77,543||$107|
|5||Lotto Division 5 win + Powerball||1 in 4,846||$57|
|6||Lotto Division 6 win + Powerball||1 in 3,635||$40|
|7||Lotto Division 7 win + Powerball||1 in 352||$15 + 4 bonus lines|
This works similarly to the standard bingo game. These draws take place four times every day – at 10am, 1pm, 3pm and 6pm. You can spend between $1 and $100 per line. If you manage to match 10 numbers from a $1 bet, you can win a maximum of $250,000. However, depending on the size of your bet, you can win up to $1 million.
Bullseye Daily Lottery Game
In October 2009, they introduced a daily lottery game – Bullseye. This requires you to pick a six-digit number between 000000 and 999999 for $2. You need to get as close as possible to the Bullseye number. If you match the number exactly, then you can win the top prize, which is at least $100,000 and can reach up to $400,000. It increases every time until it reaches $400,000, when a ‘Must Be Won’ draw is held and someone will win it – if there is no first division winner, then it will go to one of the second division winners.
How to Win
Odds of Winning
|1||Match bullseye number||1 in 1,000,000||$180,000+|
|2||1-5 either side of Bullseye no||1 in 100,000||$10,000|
|3||6-50 either side of Bullseye no||1 in 11,111||$500|
|4||51-500 either side of Bullseye no||1 in 1,111||$100|
|5||501-5000 either side of Bullseye no||1 in 111||$25|
|6||5001-50000 either side of Bullseye no||1 in 11||$2 + ticket|
Instant Kiwi (Scratchcards)
These are the instant games – you don’t have to wait for a draw to see if you have won. These scratchcards let you know immediately whether you have won or not. They were first introduced back in 1989 and replaced the Golden Kiwi games. There are different levels of games, and the higher-priced games offer larger cash prizes for the winners. However, no matter what ticket you buy, the prize structure works in the same way – just with different prizes up for grabs.
- $1 ticket gives players a maximum prize of $10,000
- $2 ticket gives players a maximum prize of $20,000
- $3 ticket gives players a maximum prize of $40,000 to $50,000
- $5 ticket gives players a maximum prize of $75,000 to $100,000
- $10 ticket gives players a maximum prize of $250,000
Lotto Games No Longer Available
Since the start of the lotto games, there have been a number of different games that have been introduced and then retired. Here are some of the games that were previously available for big lotto wins:
This game was around for five years – between 1996 until 2001. It was a mix between a lottery and a game show and used to be held every Wednesday at 8pm.
It involved between 34 and 75 numbers being drawn from the 75 numbers. People watching at home had to then match the numbers on their bingo tickets which were available for $2 each. There were three divisions of wins available:
- You need to match all corners of your card before 27 numbers have been called to win.
- If you match 8 numbers that form a diagonal cross before 34 numbers are called, you win ‘Cross’
- The big one is BINGO. This is where a ticket matches all numbers after 34 have been called. The minimum number of balls they draw is 34. If you get bingo before, they keep drawing until 34.
Besides the audience, there were 3 contestants in the Studio – making up the game show aspect of the game. The contestant took on the audience to be the first to win bingo!
This was first introduced in 2005 and was shown every Wednesday at 8.20pm. It offered several non-cash prizes such as luxury cars as well as cash prizes – with a minimum value of $3.5 million and was described as the chance to win ‘The Ultimate Lifestyle’. It worked in the same way as the standard lotto but with 50 balls and not 40. There was also the addition of the coin toss, which they need to correctly guess to win the prize. This game lasted for ten years and came to an end with a Must-Win Draw in 2015.
This was a game introduced in October 2014 and was Lotto NZ’s third daily game. The draws took place every day at 6pm with players needing to choose a three-digit number between 000 and 999. This didn’t offer prizes as big as games such as Powerball and the standard lotto game with maximum prizes being around $500.
How to Claim Your Lotto Prizes
How you claim your winnings very much depends on how much you win. If you have a bonus win or a cash prize win up to $1,000 then you can physically claim this at any lotto outlet. You simply need to hand in your winning ticket and the prize will then be paid out from the lotto terminal.
If you have won a non-cash prize or a cash prize over $1,000, then you need to head over to a lotto outlet and present your winning ticket. You will then need to complete a Prize Claim form which will then be sent to Lotto NZ in Auckland.
Generally, the winners of the huge prizes often bypass the middleman and go directly to the Lotto NZ Headquarters in Auckland. If you do need to claim over $5,000 the lotto terminal will lock for security reasons and there will need to be questions asked by Lotto NZ staff. You need to claim your prize within 12 months of winning or the prize will be voided and the unclaimed money goes back into the pot.