Lotto Games in New Zealand | LeoVegas

Lotto Games in New Zealand

Lotto games hold a special place in the hearts of millions of New Zealanders, offering a thrilling mix of entertainment and the potential for life-changing fortunes.

These games are expertly managed by Lotto New Zealand, a Crown entity established back in 1987. Notably, the proceeds from these games play a pivotal role in funding various community projects and initiatives throughout the country.

New Zealanders have access to an exciting array of Lotto games, each with its unique set of rules and alluring prizes. These games include Lotto NZ, Powerball, Instant Kiwi, Bullseye, and Keno, all promising players the opportunity to win substantial sums of money.

A Glimpse into Lotto Games

  • Lotto NZ - Among the repertoire of games, Lotto NZ stands as the oldest and most cherished in New Zealand. To participate, players select six numbers from a pool of 1 to 40. The top-tier prize, known as the first division, demands that players match all six numbers drawn in any order.
  • Powerball - Operating as a supplementary game to Lotto NZ, Powerball adds an extra layer of excitement for a mere additional dollar per line. To partake, players select one number from 1 to 10. Winning the first division requires matching all six Lotto numbers alongside the Powerball number.
  • Instant Kiwi - Instant Kiwi, on the other hand, offers the thrill of instant gratification through scratchcard lottery games. A diverse selection of Instant Kiwi games, each with its unique theme and prizes, entices players. Prizes range from a few dollars to jaw-dropping hundreds of thousands.
  • Bullseye - Bullseye stands out as a daily lottery game where players select a six-digit number within the range of 000000 to 999999. The path to victory in the first division hinges on matching the winning number precisely.
  • Keno - Keno, a draw-based lottery game, provides players the liberty to choose up to 10 numbers from a pool of 1 to 80. Draws occur every four minutes, 24 hours a day, and success entails matching some or all of the chosen numbers to the drawn numbers.Beyond the thrill of gaming and the promise of enormous winnings, Lotto games wield a significant influence on New Zealand's social landscape. The revenue generated from these games serves as a lifeline for the New Zealand government's various community-oriented initiatives. Funding extends to sports and recreation facilities, arts and culture programs, and social services.

In the fiscal year 2021/22, Lotto New Zealand's contributions exceeded $1.3 billion, with allocations as follows:

  • $380 million for sports and recreation facilities
  • $250 million for arts and culture programs
  • $150 million for social services
  • $100 million for education and training
  • $50 million for health and disability services

Simultaneously, Lotto games offer a source of entertainment that captivates the imagination of countless New Zealanders. Every week, millions of individuals dare to dream, envisioning a life-altering win. The games infuse a sense of excitement and anticipation into the lives of participants.

History of Lotto in New Zealand

The inception of Lotto in New Zealand dates back to the late 1980s when the government decided to reintroduce a national lottery. The result was Lotto NZ, launched in 1987. This venture skyrocketed in popularity, rapidly becoming New Zealand's preferred lottery.

Since the advent of Lotto NZ, other engaging games like Powerball, Instant Kiwi, Bullseye, and Keno have graced the scene. These additions have only fueled the fervour surrounding Lotto games in New Zealand, offering players an even broader spectrum of opportunities to chase their fortunes.

Today, Lotto games have firmly entrenched themselves as both a cherished pastime and a vital contributor to the nation's welfare.

Evolution of Lotto Games

The landscape of Lotto games in New Zealand has undergone several significant transformations over the years. Some key evolutions include:

Introduction of New Games - Beyond Lotto NZ, the introduction of Powerball, Instant Kiwi, Bullseye, and Keno has enhanced the allure of Lotto in New Zealand, expanding the avenues for winning substantial prizes.

Increased Prize Pools - Over time, Lotto games have raised their prize pools substantially, rendering them even more appealing to players seeking a big win.

Introduction of New Technologies - The digital age has ushered in new technologies, allowing players to engage with Lotto games online and via mobile platforms. This ease of access has streamlined participation and result-checking.

From its humble beginnings to the thriving landscape of today, Lotto games have grown into a cultural phenomenon, intertwining themselves with the fabric of New Zealand society.

Let's delve deeper into the specifics of some of the most beloved Lotto games in New Zealand.

Lotto NZ

This iconic game requires players to select six numbers from 1 to 40. Draws take place twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 8:15pm. To seize the coveted first division prize, players must match all six numbers drawn, regardless of their order. Substantial prizes are also awarded for matching fewer numbers.


Acting as a complement to Lotto NZ, Powerball invites players to choose one number from 1 to 10 for an extra dollar per line. To capture the first division prize, players must not only match all six Lotto numbers but also align with the Powerball number. The allure of large jackpot prizes has made Powerball a fan favourite.

How Powerball enhances Lotto NZ

  • Enlarged Jackpot Prizes - Powerball elevates the size of potential jackpot prizes, offering players a shot at even more substantial winnings.
  • Heightened Excitement - The inclusion of Powerball numbers intensifies the anticipation surrounding Lotto draws, capturing the imaginations of players.
  • Attracting New Players - The allure of larger jackpot prizes often entices new players to join Lotto, broadening the game's appeal.

Instant Kiwi

Instant Kiwi stands apart with its scratchcard lottery format, offering immediate gratification. A diverse range of games under this banner caters to varied tastes, each bearing its own thematic appeal and prize potential, spanning from small rewards to substantial windfalls.

Different types of Instant Kiwi tickets

  • Classic Instant Kiwi Games - Featuring traditional gameplay, such as symbol matching or seeking three-of-a-kind combinations.
  • Themed Instant Kiwi Games - Infused with popular themes like movies, TV shows, and sports.

Progressive Instant Kiwi Games - Featuring ever-growing jackpot prizes.

  • Scratch and Reveal Instant Kiwi Games: Concealing hidden images that players unveil by scratching off a layer.
  • Interactive Instant Kiwi Games - Allowing players to interact with the game in various ways, from scratching with a coin to revealing symbols with a fingertip.


Bullseye adds a daily dose of excitement as players select a six-digit number ranging from 000000 to 999999. To clinch the first division prize, precision is key: the winning number must be matched exactly. Prizes of varying sizes are on offer for partial matches.


Keno's draw-based format grants players the freedom to pick up to 10 numbers from 1 to 80. The draws occur every four minutes, around the clock. Success hinges on matching a portion or all of the selected numbers to the drawn numbers.

Draw schedule and prizes

Lotto NZ draws are held twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 8:15pm. The first prize pool starts at $1 million and can roll over if there is no first division winner. The second prize pool is $100,000 and the third prize pool is $20,000.

There are also a number of other prizes available for matching fewer numbers. For example, players who match four numbers can win a prize of $250, and players who match three numbers can win a prize of $10.

Notable winners and their stories

The history of Lotto in New Zealand is filled with inspiring tales of winners who have had their lives dramatically transformed:

In 2018, an Auckland resident secured a record-breaking $58 million Powerball prize. Her winnings facilitated the acquisition of a new home and car, while also allowing her to assist her family and friends.

In 2017, a group of 10 friends from Wellington basked in the glory of a $38 million Lotto NZ prize. Their windfall funded globetrotting adventures and the establishment of their entrepreneurial pursuits.

2016 bore witness to a Christchurch couple's $29 million Lotto NZ triumph. Their newfound fortune paved the way for a new residence, an upgraded vehicle, and wise investments for the future.

These anecdotes serve as poignant reminders of the life-altering potential embedded within Lotto games, making them a beloved aspect of New Zealand's cultural landscape.

As mentioned earlier, the pinnacle of Powerball's success in New Zealand was witnessed in 2018 when a woman from Auckland clinched a staggering $58 million Powerball prize.

Notable Powerball winners also include the group of 10 friends from Wellington who scooped the $38 million prize in 2017 and the Christchurch couple that won $29 million in 2016, as well as an Auckland resident netting $23 million in 2015.

Each of these individuals experienced a life-changing windfall, contributing to Powerball's status as a cherished game.

In 2022, a Papamoa resident celebrated a $410,000 windfall as the biggest Bullseye winner to date.

Other notable Bullseye victories include a player from Auckland securing $380,000 in 2021, a Wellington player earning $350,000 in 2020, and a Christchurch resident claiming $320,000 in 2019.

The largest Keno prize to date, $1 million, was claimed in 2015 by a player from Auckland.

Other noteworthy Keno victories include a $500,000 windfall for a Wellington player in 2014, a $250,000 win for a Christchurch resident in 2013, and a $100,000 triumph for an Auckland player in 2012.

Playing Lotto Games in New Zealand

Purchasing Tickets

  • Lotto tickets are readily available at over 1,400 Lotto NZ retailers across New Zealand. Alternatively, players can opt for the convenience of online ticket purchases through the MyLotto website or app.
  • In retail stores, customers can specify the number of tickets and games they wish to play, and the cashier will print the tickets and process the payment.
  • Online ticket purchases necessitate the creation of a MyLotto account. Once registered, players can select games, choose numbers, and even opt for a Dip, which generates random numbers on their behalf.

Pros of online ticket purchase:

  • Convenience - Online purchases can be made from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Speed - The online process is quick, eliminating the need to wait in line at a retail store.
  • Security - Online ticket purchases are encrypted and secure, safeguarding personal information.
  • Automatic Ticket Checking - After each draw, players can automatically check their tickets for winning numbers online.

Cons of online ticket purchase

  • Internet Connection Requirement - Online ticket purchases necessitate an internet connection.
  • Technical Difficulties - Occasional technical challenges may disrupt the online purchasing process.
  • Risk of Fraud - While small, there exists a risk of fraud associated with online ticket purchases.

Pros of physical ticket purchase

  • No Internet Connection Requirement - Retail store purchases don't depend on internet connectivity.
  • Immediate Feedback - Players can instantly verify if their ticket holds a winning combination.
  • Social Interaction - Interactions with fellow Lotto enthusiasts and retail staff enhance the physical purchase experience.

Cons of physical ticket purchase

  • Less Convenient - Physical purchases entail a trip to a retail store.
  • Time-Consuming - Queues may prolong the purchase process, especially during peak hours.
  • Risk of Loss or Damage - Physical tickets can be lost or damaged if not handled carefully.

Safety and security considerations

To ensure a secure Lotto experience, players should:

  • Purchase tickets exclusively from authorised Lotto NZ retailers.
  • Safeguard tickets in a secure location.
  • Sign the back of tickets immediately after purchase
  • Avoid sharing tickets with others.
  • Promptly claim prizes upon winning.

Additional safety precautions for online ticket purchases include using strong passwords and maintaining up-to-date software.

Drawing Process

Lotto draws in New Zealand are conducted meticulously, prioritising fairness and transparency. Here is a step-by-step insight into the Lotto draw process:

  • Preparation - Prior to the draw, all Lotto tickets undergo scanning and authenticity checks.
  • Random Number Generation - The winning numbers are generated through a certified random number generator.
  • Draw - A machine housing 40 balls, numbered from 1 to 40, is employed to draw the winning numbers.
  • Verification - Lotto NZ officials and independent auditors thoroughly verify the drawn numbers.
  • Prize Distribution - Prizes are then distributed to the fortunate holders of winning tickets.

Technology plays a pivotal role in upholding the fairness of Lotto draws. The random number generator is certified by an independent testing laboratory, and the draw machine is under constant surveillance.

Transparency and verification

Transparency and verifiability are the cornerstones of Lotto draws in New Zealand:

  • Draws are broadcast live on TVNZ and streamed online, allowing the public to witness the proceedings and independently verify the results.
  • Winning numbers are promptly published on the Lotto NZ website and social media platforms, simplifying the process of checking tickets for winners.
  • Regular audits by independent auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) ensure the integrity of the Lotto NZ draw machine, random number generator, and the draw process itself.
  • Lotto NZ remains steadfast in its commitment to conducting draws in a fair and transparent manner, employing technology and independent audits to achieve this goal.

Online Lotto in New Zealand

The ascent of online Lotto in New Zealand has been remarkable. In the fiscal year 2021/22, online Lotto sales accounted for a substantial 46% of total Lotto sales, marking a significant increase from the 30% recorded in 2019/20.

This surge in online Lotto participation can be attributed to several factors:

  • Enhanced Convenience - Online play allows customers to purchase Lotto tickets from any location with internet access, regardless of the time of day or night.
  • Speedy Transactions - Online purchases are swift and straightforward, eliminating the need to queue at a retail store.
  • Security - Online ticket transactions are secured through encryption, bolstering confidence in the process.
  • Automatic Ticket Validation - After each draw, players can effortlessly verify their tickets for winning numbers online.Additionally, online Lotto offers further conveniences, including the ability to save favourite numbers for quick and easy play, establish automatic play to ensure participation in every draw, purchase tickets in bulk, and join Lotto syndicates online.

Lotto Games FAQ

How do I claim my lotto winnings?

  • To claim Lotto winnings, present your winning ticket at a Lotto NZ retailer or the Lotto NZ head office.
  • Fill out a Prize Claim Form.
  • Provide your bank account details for direct payment of your winnings.
  • For prizes exceeding $1,000, in-person claims are mandatory; online claims are not available.

How to check my lotto ticket online?

  • To verify your Lotto ticket online, follow these steps:
  • Visit the MyLotto website or app.
  • Input your ticket number and draw date.
  • Click "Check Ticket."
  • The platform will display whether your ticket holds a prize and list all winning numbers for the draw.

What are my chances of winning the lotto?

Your odds of winning Lotto depend on the specific game you're playing. For instance, in Lotto NZ, your chances of winning the first division are approximately 1 in 38,383,816. For a detailed breakdown, consult the Lotto NZ website.

Can my lotto numbers be in any order?

Yes, in Lotto NZ, your selected numbers can be in any order. For example, choosing the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 offers the same winning potential as selecting them in reverse order (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1). The order of selection does not influence your chances of winning.

The Lotto games in New Zealand have become an integral part of the nation's culture, offering entertainment, excitement, and life-changing opportunities for millions of Kiwis. With a rich history and a commitment to fairness and transparency, these games continue to captivate the imagination of players across the country.

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