Lockdown lotto bonanza: Powerball jackpots to a monster $26m tonight

Kiwis are busy snapping up Powerball tickets as the lottery draw jackpots to a monster $26 million tonight.

That means one or two lucky winners – should they be located in a level 3 region – may need to enquire tomorrow about whether the sale of McLaren or Ferrari sports cars is permitted as an essential service.

The $26m draw is by far the biggest prize up for grabs this year with a $17m lotto prize win in July the only comparable recent jackpot.

It comes as Auckland, Northland and parts of the Waikato are now locked down in alert level 3.

Lotto NZ counters in these regions that are located in stores offering essential services, such as supermarkets, are allowed to open at alert level 3 should they choose to.

However, Lotto NZ counters in the rest of the country in level 2 regions are open and will continue to follow the Government’s health and safety guidelines.

Customers can also buy tickets online.

Lotto NZ also said its live draws are unable to take place  while Auckland remains in  alert level 3.

“During this time, we will continue using computer-generated draws for Lotto, Powerball, and Strike,” a spokeswoman said.

Should tonight’s draw go unclaimed, it will rise even higher on Wednesday, with Lotto NZ saying the Powerball jackpot has been on a roll since it was last struck on August 21.

That August win led to a young woman from Auckland becoming an overnight millionaire, as she pocketed $11.5m just as the city entered alert level 4 lockdown.

At the time, the woman told the Herald she didn’t realise she had won even after seeing an email from Lotto the morning after the draw, and initially thought her prize was just $11,500.

“It was unbelievable. My sister and I just sat in the car screaming – it was such a cool moment,” said the woman who did not wish to be named.

Powerball wins in 2021

January 2: $2.8 million – The Market Store, Twizel

January 2: $2.8 million – Fresh Choice, Te Anau

January 6: $4.5 million – Te Aroha Supermarket, Te Aroha

January 20: $8.5 million – Western Heights Foodmarket, Rotorua

February 27: $22.5 million – MyLotto, Christchurch

March 13: $8.25 million – Paper Plus, Matamata

March 20: $5.2 million – Hornby Mall Lotto, Christchurch

March 24: $4.25 million – MyLotto, Northland

April 17: $14.25 million – MyLotto, Auckland

May 8: $12.3 million – Hylite Dairy, Auckland

June 5: $16.5 million – MyLotto , Hamilton

June 26: $13 million – New World Merrilands, New Plymouth

July 24: $17.16 million – West City Lotto, Auckland

July 31: $5.3 million – MyLotto, Ashburton

August 21: $11.5 million – MyLotto, Auckland

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