Kiwi teen races up world pinball rankings

Deep in the Auckland suburb of Pukekohe lies one of the world's largest private collections of pinball machines, calling a family's lounge home.

For 15-year-old Danielle Peck the bright, glassy, colourful world has been her life from the moment she could stand.

"[I started playing pinball] about two or three, I used to stand on a stool playing pinball in my diapers," she told Newshub.

With pinball machines costing between $2000 and $15,000 each, it's not a cheap hobby. But for the Pecks, it's a family affair.

Mum, dad, and seven-year-old Carter are all listed in the world pinball rankings. Danielle is currently ranked second in New Zealand, with her father taking the crown.

"If I ever beat my dad and become number one, I'll be very sad. I don't want to hurt his feelings," she joked.

With more than 100 pinball machines, it's one of the largest private collections in the world.

The Pecks often host tournaments and are always looking for new players.

"There are a couple of things that put you above other people. If you can control your balls... that puts you above everyone else," Danielle said.

Danielle plays most days, fitting it around her schoolwork.

And even though she knows gaming isn't a viable career path, she wants to make sure she carries on the family tradition.

"It won't be around forever because everyone is getting older and eventually they will pass away," Danielle said.

"And so I kind of think that it's special to have it now, knowing it might now be here in the future."

The future of pinball is now in the hands of an ambitious teenager, who's not afraid of the flashing lights.