Marlborough residents spent more than $147 each on Lotto tickets last year, winning just over $61 each in return, according to data from the Lotteries Commission. It means the total Lotto spend in the province for 2012 would have topped $6 million.
Two first division lottery wins last year helped boost Marlborough's total lotto prize wins to approximately $2.4m.
Marlborough's two luckiest stores for the year were Renwick Dairy, and Redwood Lotto, which both sold first division winning tickets.
The stores' winning tickets were both sold during the middle of the year, with Renwick's $166,667 winning ticket numbers being drawn on July 28, and Redwood Lotto's big $500,000 prize drawn on June 30.
Rata Harper, Renwick Dairy owner, said she believed their dairy was always the luckiest store.
"As long as the doors are open, and people are coming in, you're always lucky," Ms Harper said.
New Zealand Lotteries senior communications adviser Emilia Mazur said for every dollar spent on Lotto, 56 per cent was spent on prizes, 20 per cent went to the New Zealand Grants Board, and the other 24 per cent was spent on taxes, retailer commission and operating costs.
She added that through its specialist and community committees, the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board distributed funding to more than 3000 community activities and projects each year, and was a major funder of Sport New Zealand, Creative New Zealand and the New Zealand Film Commission.
After the Redwood Lotto first division prize was claimed, owner Peter Matthews said it was the sixth first division winning ticket the store had sold since opening in 1987.
- The Marlborough Express