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NZ Lotteries Results Above Budget For Half Year

7 March 2005

NZ Lotteries Results Above Budget For Half Year

The New Zealand Lotteries Commission (NZ Lotteries) has posted an above budget half year sales result of $305.9 million, NZ Lotteries Chief Executive Trevor Hall announced today.

The results for the six months to 31 December 2004 were released in the NZ Lotteries 2005 Half Year Report.

"At this stage we are on track to meet budgeted sales and net profit targets for the full financial year," Mr Hall said. "The net surplus for the half year is $61.7 million." Payments totalling $54 million were made to the Lottery Grants Board for distribution to fund sporting, arts and community activities around the country. This was $6 million more than for the same period last year.

It was noted in the Half Year Report that sales were down on the same period last year which had benefited from two exceptional Powerball jackpot runs.

"The jackpot runs were statistical abnormalities, and jackpots in the current period have followed a more typical jackpotting pattern, only exceeding $5 million for 5 weeks compared to 16 weeks the year before."

Changes were made to Lotto in August 2004, including reverting to a shared First Division prize pool, better prizes for other divisions, increasing the price from 50 cents to 60 cents a line and introducing the Winning Wheel on the live Saturday Lotto draw.

"These changes have been well received by customers," Mr Hall said. "We have seen a lift in weekly sales for Lotto of 10% on average."

The majority of the Gambling Act 2003's provisions came into effect 1 July 2004.

"As required under the Act, NZ Lotteries effectively implemented an increase in the age restriction for Instant Kiwi from 16 to 18 years from that date," said Mr Hall.

In the six months under review, the retail network was expanded, and a new look store design was introduced. Sixty-eight new stores were opened, bringing the network total to 701 as at 31 December 2004. In the same period 41 existing stores were refurbished using the new store design.

"We made 19 people millionaires, with one player winning $9.9 million from Lotto First Division and Powerball, the third largest individual prize ever won," said Mr Hall.

"There were 55 winners of prizes valued up to $500,000 in Lotto's Christmas promotion, 21 Winning Wheel winners, averaging $150,000 per win, and 80 other Triple Dip promotion winners."

ENDS

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