Tararua luckiest Lotto district

Last updated 15:23 10/01/2014

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If you're buying a Lotto ticket today, you might want to consider doing it in Tararua.

The district has regained its title as the luckiest place to buy a Lotto ticket, helped by a $14.1 million Big Wednesday win in April.

On average, $867.58 per person was won in Tararua last year, almost double the $475.26 per person in second-placed Waitemata and Gulf Ward in Auckland, the latest statistics from Lotto New Zealand show.

Tararua previously held the title in 2011.The $14.1 million-winning ticket was bought at Dannevirke Blockbuster, but the identity of the winner has remained a mystery, their anonymity helped by their decision not to take the Lamborghini.

Palmerston North City ranked 22nd, with average winnings of $75.17 per person.Melody's New World cemented its reputation as the luckiest retailer in the city, ranking seventh in the country.

Tickets sold at its Lotto kiosk last year won 48,073 people a total $625,905 in prizes.

Store manager Kelly Melody was delighted to have beaten much larger stores in much larger centres.

''It's pretty crazy,'' she said.''We get the monthly figures throughout the year, and we've been in the top 10 the whole year, between eight and four.''

She attributed the success of the the store, which has been selling tickets for more than 25 years, to a loyal customer base.

''For a lot of people, it's just a part of what they do every week when they buy their groceries.... We were one of the first 25 to sign up, and many people started out buying their tickets with us and just carried on.''

The top retailer in the country was Manukau Pak'nSave, where 73,856 people won almost $1.3 million. Manawatu was the 29th luckiest area in the country, with average winnings of $67.46 per person.

Horowhenua ranked 36th, with an average of $63.38 per person.Nationally, Lotto and Big Wednesday prizes amounted to more than $411 million, with 193 first-division wins racked up.

Lotto New Zealand says it distributed a record $201.8 million to the Lottery Grants Board last year. This is used to fund arts, sporting and community organisations and projects.

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- Manawatu Standard

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