Ticket wins $26.5m Lotto Powerball prize

A small Waikato town - population 1200 - faces a nervous and excited wait to find out if the winner of almost $27 million is one of their own.

The prize was made up of $333,333 from Lotto first division, and $26,264,932 million from Powerball first division, making it the third biggest prize ever won in New Zealand by a single ticketholder.

It jackpotted from an already hefty $22 million last week, and drew heavy foot traffic to Lotto stores around New Zealand yesterday afternoon  with sales up 20 per cent on normal levels.

Particularly keen to find out is Jasel Patel, owner of the Four Square market in Te Kauwhata that sold the winning ticket in last night's Lotto draw.

''I really hope it is a local because it is such wonderful, friendly and helpful town where we all know and support each other,'' Mr Patel said.

''Since taking over this business 17 years ago the locals have been a wonderful support to me, and 99 per cent of them shop locally to keep our money in our town.''

Holly Steger, 16, is a waitress in the local City Deli Cafe and said a local winner was very likely.

''It is not a town that gets a lot of passing trade so it has to be a local for sure,'' she said.

''And whoever it is will really deserve it and need the money.''

Figures show that one winner of such a big prize was rare, but not totally out of the question.

In October 2009 an Aucklander walked away with $22 million and the following October a second Aucklander won $28 million.

In April last year two people, one from Dannevirke, another from Hamilton split a $35 million prize.

There were also two other Lotto winners tonight, also winning a $333,333 share of Lotto First Division. The tickets were sold at MyLotto in Auckland and Pak'n'Save Hastings in Hastings.

Strike Four was struck, with a lucky winner from New Plymouth winning $1,035,186. The winning Strike ticket was sold at Pak'n'Save, New Plymouth.

Kendyl and James from Pukekohe, spun Lotto's Winning Wheel and won $200,000 at the live draw in the capital.

Last night's Winning Wheel ticket was bought at Countdown in Greymouth. The serial number is 406-08713539-20XX.

Anyone who bought their ticket from any of the above winning stores should write their name on the back of the ticket and check it immediately at any Lotto outlet, NZ Lotteries said.

Meanwhile in the US, three winners will share a $640 million (NZ$744m) Mega Millions jackpot. The winning tickets were sold in Maryland, Illinois and northeast Kansas.

The winning Mega Millions numbers were 2, 4, 23, 38, 46 with a Mega Ball of 23. The multistate jackpot has grown to become the largest ever offered that could be won by an individual.