15 Aug 2020

Online sales rise as buyers chase Lotto's record prize

3:03 pm on 15 August 2020

Lotto has seen a large surge in online ticket sales since the alert level 4 lockdown in March.

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Online sales have risen since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Its head of communications, Marie Winfield, said more than 200,000 people have registered to play online since then.

She's expecting a spike in sales for tonight's $50 million Powerball draw, with most tickets usually purchased on the day.

If a single ticketholder wins tonight's draw, they will claim Lotto's largest ever prize, beating the previous record of $44.1m won by an Aucklander in November 2016.

Winfield said while a large number of sales will be completed online, they are urging people buying physical Lotto tickets to follow Covid-19 health and safety guidelines when instore.

"What's really important is that people in the community stay safe.

"If you are out and about buying tickets in stores that are open, follow the health and safety guidelines and just be really mindful of social distancing and any hygiene in store."

It's expected more than two million tickets will be bought for tonight's jackpot - slightly down on pre-pandemic figures.

Tonight's draw marks the seventh time Powerball has reached a jackpot of over $30m that must be won.

Earlier this year two ticket-holders from Auckland and Hawke's Bay split a $50m jackpot, banking $25.1m each.

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