Lotto marks 30 years

Katie Treneman of Paper Plus Howick, one of only a dozen retailers which offered Lotto from day one. Photo supplied.

Lotto has this week announced record funding of $272 million to Kiwi communities for the 2016/17 financial year – coinciding with its 30th birthday.

This week marks 30 years since Lotto New Zealand held its first draw on August 1, 1987. Over that time, Lotto has given away more than $10 billion in prizes to more than 450 million lucky winners across all its games.

To mark the milestone, Lotto has released some of its highlights.

For example, Paper Plus Howick and Paper Plus Pukekohe are two of only 12 retailers who have been with Lotto from day one.

Over the stores’ 30 years selling Lotto tickets, they have sold 26 First Division winning tickets between them – amounting to winnings of $7.1m.

Live Lotto Draw. Photo ©Michael Bradley

Other highlights and fun facts about Lotto in Auckland over the last 30 years include:

  • The first Lotto draw was on August 1, 1987.
  • The First Division prize on offer in the first Lotto draw was $359,808.
  • Auckland is New Zealand’s luckiest city – home to 1968 First Division Winners who have won a total of $1b in prizes
  • The biggest Powerball win of all time was $44 million. It was won by an Auckland couple who had been declined a mortgage earlier that week. The winning ticket was sold at Dairy Flat Food Mart and Liquor in Dairy Flat, Auckland.
  • Auckland’s luckiest store is Berrymans Toys in Brown’s Bay which has had a total of 26 First Division Winners, and given away more than $8.7 million in prizes.
  • Manukau Ward is the luckiest spot in the region – with 295 First Division winners who have together won more than $186m.
  • There were 322 Lotto retailers on the first day of Lotto trading in 1987. Now there are over 1450 retailers throughout New Zealand, with 12 of those selling tickets since day one.
  • Lotto players can now buy tickets online or through their phones – and check tickets from the comfort of their own home with the Lotto NZ app.
  • The most common thing New Zealanders say they would spend a big Lotto win on is buying a house or paying off their mortgage.
  • The largest number of Division 1 winners in one draw is 38. This occurred on September 11, 1993 and each of the winners received $35,937.
  • Nearly all of Lotto’s past big winners are hoping for another win. In fact 98 per cent of previous winners Lotto has surveyed say they still buy Lotto tickets.
  • The luckiest store of all time is Unichem Stortford Lodge Pharmacy in the Hawke’s Bay which has sold a mammoth 45 First Division winning tickets – amounting to more than $28m in winnings.
  • There are two sets of Lotto and Powerball machines in use today and to decide which one is used on the draw, a coin is tossed. The coin is an old 20 cent piece and has been around for more than 10 years.
  • There are also two sets of Lotto and Powerball balls in use today, with a coin toss used to decide which set to use.
  • No set of Lotto or Powerball balls can be used more than 10 times before they must be washed and weighed. Each ball is washed in Sunlight dishwashing liquid and weighed to make sure there are no variances.
  • The Lotto and Powerball balls are made in France and weigh 69 grams and 34 grams respectively.
  •  The most northern Lotto store in the country is Houhora Wharf Four Square in Kaitaia and the most southern is Ship To Shore Four Square on Stewart Island.
  • Lotto New Zealand presented $21m to the community in its first year. In the last three decades, Lotto players have helped give more than $4.3b to Kiwi communities.

New Zealand’s biggest wins:

  1. Dairy Flat Food Mart and Liquor, $44,066,667, Auckland, 2016
  2. Kuripuni Lotto & Post Shop, $36,890,256, Masterton, 2009
  3. One Step Ahead, Ponsonby, $33,020,030, Auckland, 2013
  4. Mobil Papakura, $28,710,403, Papakura, 2010
  5. Martina Four Square and Lotto, $27,333,333, Thames, 2017
  6. AJ’s Lotto, $27,004,410, Tauranga, 2012
  7. Te Kauwhata Four Square, $26,598,265, Te Kauwhata, 2012
  8. Willy Wonka’s Superette, $26,261,898, Auckland, 2014
  9. Springfield Superette and Lotto, $24,300,822, Rotorua, 2015
  10. Pak N Save Riccarton, $22,569,174, Christchurch, 2013