Three's a crowd if lady luck calls

The good news is, they won second division Lotto.

The bad news is, they won only $16,000 after the same shop sold three of the winning tickets.

Coastlands Lotto last weekend dished out a trio of $16,000 prizes.

But those hoping the feat might be repeated for today's $17 million draw shouldn't hold their breath - it's a one-in-850-year occurrence, and one of the rarest events in Lotto's history.

The store sold three second division-winning tickets to three different people in the same draw, and the winners walked away with $16,648 each. The second division pool was split between 19 people.

The number-crunchers at Lotto have worked out the odds of three tickets from one store winning the same prize, and say it could take until the year 2862 for it to happen again.

The winners declined to be identified, but store owner David Campbell said they were all regulars. One winner was so happy she'd brought in some chocolates as a thank-you.

"They're all local people. One came in on Monday morning and brought us in a box of chocolates, which was nice.

"They're regular customers every week. One lady, I understand, even comes from Levin to buy from us. We are regarded as a lucky store."

He too was surprised with last weekend's outcome.

"When we first saw we'd sold three second division tickets, we thought it must be the same person with a ‘combo' ticket, but on the Sunday they all came in to claim."

It is understood two of the winners were female, and one an elderly man, who has already put his prize towards a new mobility scooter.

The Lotto jackpot for tonight's draw has risen to $19.5 million, with Powerball first division an estimated $17 million.

Mr Campbell said he was in for a big day of trading. "Saturday, we do probably 70 per cent of our business . . . and people tend to go to where the luck is."

The Dominion Post