Lotto calls for mystery winner of 'life-changing' $17.1m to step forward

A mystery millionaire who won a massive $17.1 million still hasn't stepped forward to claim their Powerball prize.

Lotto New Zealand says it's still hoping to hear from the winner, who struck gold on December 28.

"A lot of Kiwis have returned to work from today and are back to their normal routines, so we are really hoping our missing millionaire realises they have won big and claims their prize," says Marie Winfield, Lotto NZ head of communications and corporate social responsibility.

"We encourage anyone who bought a ticket from the Market Store in Twizel for the draw on December 28 to check their tickets. This is a life-changing amount of money, and we have the champagne on ice ready to celebrate with our newest Powerball winner."

Winfield says if Lotto doesn't hear from them in the next week, it will make "every effort" to find the lucky winner.

"Most Powerball winners claim their prize within a few days of winning - but occasionally we have these big wins go unclaimed for a while," she says.

In August 2019, a $12.2 million Powerball prize went unclaimed for over two weeks. The ticket was purchased on MyLotto and Lotto NZ was able to contact the winner, who was completely unaware they had won.  

In 2017, a Gisborne couple took two weeks to claim a $6.5 million Powerball prize. They knew straight away but wanted to take time to think about how to manage their windfall.

In 2014, a Hamilton couple sat on their winning $16.2 million ticket for ten days before checking and finding out they were the missing millionaires.

In 2013, Lotto NZ tracked down a Christchurch player who was unaware they had won $22 million. The man thought the prize had already been claimed so was taken by surprise when Lotto NZ knocked on his door.  

Anyone who purchased their ticket from the Market Store in Twizel is encouraged to write their name on the back of the ticket and check it immediately at any Lotto outlet, online at or through Lotto NZ App.

Players can phone Lotto on 0800 695 6886 to find out how to claim a prize.