Today may be the last day of ordinary life for one Big Wednesday ticket-holder before they join the ranks of overnight multi-millionaires.
An $18 million jackpot is up for grabs in tonight's draw, including a $400,000 Lamborghini and an Audi, a Rayglass boat, and extra $675,000 cash toward a bach, a credit card loaded with $50,000, and $50,000 of luxury travel.
Lotto outlets are reporting a run on tickets. A spokeswoman for Radius Pharmacy Hastings - which has sold the most first division-winning tickets - said last week was extremely busy, when the prize was $16m, and she expected the same today.
"We find on the actual day of the draw it certainly gets much busier," Lotto supervisor Nanette Woodham said. "Particularly last week, we nearly doubled sales because of the amount available."
Manners Mags and Lotto owner Rex Rutherford said he had seen sales rise incrementally as the prize money jackpotted over the past 22 weeks.
"It's going to be busy, but not queues around the block. In another three or four weeks there might be [if it keeps jackpotting]."
About 375,000 Big Wednesday tickets are sold each week and total sales during this 22-week jackpot run grew from $1,928,628 in the first week to $5,402,623 to the end of last week, Lotteries Commission spokeswoman Victoria Barton-Chapple said.
The prize is the second largest for Big Wednesday and the sixth biggest prize in New Zealand Lotto history. In 2009, Big Wednesday jackpotted to almost $37m, which was split among a four-person family syndicate from Masterton, with each receiving more than $9.2m.
Ms Barton-Chapple said most winners chose the cash equivalent of the prizes, rather than taking home the cars and boat.
TOP 10 LOTTO JACKPOTS
1. Big Wednesday, total prize: $36,890,256, drawn June 24, 2009, bought from Kuripuni Lotto & Post Shop, Masterton
2. Lotto Powerball, total prize: $28,710,403, drawn October 16, 2010, bought from Mobil Papakura
3. Lotto Powerball, total prize: $26,598,265, drawn March 31, 2012, bought from Te Kauwhata Four Square
4. Lotto Powerball, total prize: $22,434,379, drawn Oct 3, 2009, bought at Manukau Pak'n Save
5. Lotto Powerball, total prize: $19,054,243, drawn April 5, 2008, bought at Pak'n Save, New Plymouth
6. Lotto Powerball, total prize: $17,992,975, drawn May 20, 2006, bought from Kaeo Four Square
7. Lotto Powerball, total prize: $17,723,538, drawn April 9, 2011, bought from Dannevirke New World
8. Lotto Powerball, total prize: $17,723,538, drawn April 9, 2011, bought at Take Note Dinsdale, Hamilton
9. Lotto Powerball, total prize: $16,352,565, drawn May 23, 2009, bought from Countdown Lotto, Cambridge
10. Lotto Powerball, total prize: $15,614,000, drawn Nov 5, 2011, bought at Waikanae Beach Four Square
- © Fairfax NZ News
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