2020 is the luckiest year yet for Lotto winners

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This year has been the biggest one yet for Lotto NZ winners with 62 Kiwis becoming overnight millionaires in 2020.


In second place was 2017 with 53 millionaires, and in third place 2018 with 46 millionaires.


Of those 62 lucky Kiwis, a record-breaking 28 were Powerball winners - the most multi-millionaires Lotto NZ has ever had in a single year.


“2020 has been a challenging year on so many levels, so it’s awesome that a record number of Kiwis’ lives changed overnight with Powerball during the year,” says Lotto NZ head of communications Marie Winfield.  


“In 2019 we had 16 Powerball winners who experienced the joy of winning big, this year we’re already up to 28.”


It was also a great year for Instant Kiwi online, with 20 players becoming Top Prize winners in 2020 – the most Top Prize winners Lotto NZ have ever had in a year.


With two Must Be Won draws in a single year, 2020 has been Lotto NZ’s biggest year of giving yet – a total of more than $617 million has been given away in prizes with Lotto Family games


“We speak to winners all the time and helping out the people in their lives and charities close to their heart has always been a top priority for them. Winning big has a huge ripple effect – with 2020 having been a difficult year for so many, it’s wonderful to know how much of a difference getting that lucky ticket makes to the lives of our winners, their loved ones and their local communities,” says Marie.


From buying houses and dream cars to giving to charity, here is what have some of Lotto NZ’s winners have done with their windfall in 2020.


Lotto NZ’s biggest prize winners in 2020 – the Auckland and Hawkes Bay winners who split February’s historic $50 million Must Be Won – have been helping out family and friends.


“I’ve bought a new house that we moved into recently and I’ve helped out family and friends,” says the Hawkes Bay winner.


“I know it sounds cliché, but it has been absolutely life-changing for us. I can do everything I had envisioned doing in my life now and it helps me to build a better future for my kids and family.”


After paying off their mortgage and helping their immediate family, the Auckland winner has recently purchased a holiday bach.


“I’ve bought a property in my happy place which I’m excited about. I can’t wait to make memories there with the kids because that’s what this is all about – the huge grins on their faces when we share special memories.”


In September, a Christchurch man ouldn’t believe his luck after winning $10.5 million with Powerball had no doubts about what he was going to do with his life-changing win.


“I’m going to buy my dream car – a Lamborghini,” laughed the man. “I’ve always wanted one so why not now!”

He also plans to go on a trip somewhere in the South Island where he can relax and start to plan his new future.


Giving to charity was also high on winner’s lists this year, with so many impacted by the effects of COVID-19.


In May, a $1 million Auckland winner, who won while returning the wrong size pair of his favourite pair of merino socks, donated part of his win to the SPCA and other charities impacted by the pandemic.


“We feel very fortunate and we want to help others during this time. We know it has been a hard time for many people around New Zealand and it would be great to be able to make a difference.

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