9 Nov 2016

What to do if you find yourself $44m richer tonight

2:48 pm on 9 November 2016

Tonight's winning Lotto ticket could be worth a cool $44 million - the largest prize ever to be offered in New Zealand.

The Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

Financial adviser Martin Hawes said taking an overseas trip would be a good move if you find yourself $44m richer tonight. Photo: Supplied

No ticket had the winning numbers in Saturday's $38m draw and so the must-win jackpot rolled over to today.

If no single ticket wins the Powerball first division, the prize pool rolls down to the next highest division.

The previous highest New Zealand jackpot was $40 million, which was won by three different second division tickets in July.

So what should you do if you suddenly find yourself $44m richer?

The windfall could be life changing but financial adviser Martin Hawes said the first thing to do is to do nothing.

"Just to let it settle, get used to the idea. You might not even tell anybody.

"You'd want to celebrate it, you'd want to go out for dinner, and you'd want to take an overseas trip or something. They're not major expenditures in the scope of $44 million."

But that wasn't the time for far-reaching permanent decisions, which he said should be taken after getting some advice.

After a big win, a phenomenon known as the Diderot effect comes into play, which meant the things that used to make us happy no longer sufficed, he said.

"The obvious one is the car. A brand new Toyota Corolla might seem wonderful, but pretty soon it doesn't and to get your happiness back to where it was you need a brand new Mitsubishi Pajero and then a Volkswagen and so on up the chain."

And for some, the win would be only temporarily life-changing, he said.

Anecdotal evidence was that many who got an unexpected windfall were back where they started in five years.

Mr Hawes said he had dealt with people who had sold businesses or farms, and who were very careful with the money.

"But with Lotto, easy come, easy go, maybe."

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