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What does a major Powerball winner look like?

2 November 2016

What does a major Powerball winner look like?

As Kiwis around the country imagine what it would be like to win $34 million with Powerball on Wednesday, 12 lucky players already know how it feels to win a major lottery prize.

Powerball was first introduced in 2001 and since then 12 ordinary Kiwis have taken home prizes over $20 million.

“We decided to take a behind-the-scenes look at New Zealand’s biggest winners to see if we can paint a picture of a ‘typical’ winner,” said Emilia Mazur, General Manager, Corporate Communications at Lotto NZ.

First up, where do these winners live? 75% of New Zealand’s biggest winners call the North Island home, but it’s the South Island that lays claim to the winner of this year’s largest prize – so far – after an Ashburton family scooped over $22 million in April.

When it comes to the battle of the sexes, 92% of these big winners are male. But it’s a family syndicate of three generations of women who can claim the title of New Zealand’s largest-ever winners after winning $36.8 million with Big Wednesday in 2009.

What about family? 50% of Lotto’s biggest winners were married at the time of their win and 83% had children. Either way, helping family was top of the list for all of these big winners with houses, cars and holidays all being gifted to their nearest and dearest.

While winning big is a life-changing experience at any age, how old were these winners when they won the big one? The majority of winners (25%) were in their 30s when they become overnight millionaires. But as these winners prove, a big win really can happen at any time – the youngest winner (as part of a family syndicate) was just shy of 20 at the time of their win, while the oldest winner was in their 80s.

So while these big winners have some things in common, there’s no clear profile of what a Lotto winner looks like – which is good news for Kiwis hoping to win big this week.

“It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live– every player has exactly the same chance of becoming our next big winner. After all, the one thing all of our biggest winners have in common is that they bought a ticket,” said Emilia Mazur.

Lotto players can buy a ticket for tomorrow’s $34 million Lotto Powerball draw from any Lotto retailer or online at


High-res image attached
Credit: Michael Bradley

Top New Zealand lottery wins over $20 million

WhatWhenLocationWinning storeGame
1$36.8 millionJun 2009MastertonKuripuni Lotto and Post ShopBig Wednesday
2$33 millionSep 2013AucklandOne Step Ahead, PonsonbyPowerball
3$28.7 millionOct 2010AucklandMobil PapakuraPowerball
4$27 millionSep 2012TaurangaAJ’s Lotto, TaurangaBig Wednesday
5$26.5 millionMar 2012Te KauwhataTe Kauwhata Four SquarePowerball
6$26.2 millionFeb 2014AucklandWilly Wonka’s SuperettePowerball
7$24.3 millionJun 2015RotoruaSpringfield Superette and LottoPowerball
8$22.5 millionSep 2013ChristchurchRiccarton Pak N SaveBig Wednesday
9$22.4 millionOct 2009AucklandManukau Pak N SavePowerball
10$22.2 millionApr 2016AshburtonMyLottoPowerball
11$20.5 millionNov 2009InvercargillWindsor Stationery and LottoPowerball
12$20.2 millionSep 2014AucklandCountdown Pukekohe SouthBig Wednesday


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