No big wins at almost half of all NZ Lotto outlets
Almost half of the country's 1570 Lotto retailers have never sold a Division One Lotto, Strike or Powerball winning ticket, according to information provided under the Official Information Act.
Stuff got the ball rolling on an inquiry into Lotto's unluckiest outlets at the end of February when the nation was gripped with jackpot fever ahead of a $50m draw.
Stuff requested at that time - and received - a breakdown of the top five 'luckiest' Lotto outlets, their location and the number of First Division wins.
But while happy to tell hopeful punters where Lady Luck trod, Lotto refused to detail the doors she didn't grace.
That hasn't changed with the Official Information request.
Asked which five outlets, by name and location, have sold tickets with the lowest prize money totals Lotto said that information would be withheld as "it is likely to prejudice the commercial position of each retailer who is subject of these requests if you publicise that information".
Lotto was more forthcoming when asked how many outlets had never sold a Division One winning ticket.
Of the 1570 active outlets, 701 have never sold a big winner, equivalent to 44.6 per cent of outlets.
Lotto also revealed the amount spent on champagne for winners in the last five years as $5634.92.
Stuff can also reveal that in the year from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019, Lotto chief executive Chris Lyman spent $21,585.37 on travel, $336.64 on hospitality and $4369.23 on 'other expenses'.
The largest single expense, $9364.10, is listed as airfares to Buenos Aires, the Argentinian capital city, for a conference in November 2018.
Lotto NZ's head of communications and corporate social responsibility, Marie Winfield, also said that prior to the COVID-19 lockdown year-to-date sales had been higher than the year earlier, "because of the jackpot run in October and the $50m must be won in February".
"This is pleasing and will lessen the impact of the expected drop in sales through the lockdown."
Winfield says 100 per cent of Lotto profits went to more than 3000 good causes each year, with significant funding for Sport New Zealand, NZ Film Commission and Creative NZ.