How 'must-win' Lotto Powerball works ahead of record-breaking $50 million draw

The largest Lotto Powerball draw is upon us, and many people could be about to get a whole lot richer.

The massive $42 million Powerball wasn't hit on Wednesday night, meaning it has now skyrocketed to a jaw-dropping $50 million - the largest Lotto jackpot in New Zealand history.

But there's a catch - the draw is a "must be won", meaning that even if no one is lucky enough to get the six correct numbers and the Powerball, the $50 million still needs to go.

"Somebody has gotta win this weekend. If no one gets first-division, it rolls down to the next winning division, so possibly second-division," Lotto's Marie Winfield told The AM Show.

If there are multiple people who have the lucky numbers in the winning division, the $50 million will be split between them. That means the behemoth amount of money could be chopped up into smaller amounts. 

"We could be looking at a lot of winners this weekend...When you are splitting $50 million, a lot of people could win a lot of money this weekend."

Winfield says that means there is potential for "dozens of winners". 

"What I am really looking forward to is Monday morning and having a queue at the winners' room. Instead of having queues in stores, we are going to have a queue at the winners' room, I reckon, on Monday morning as we have multiple winners coming in."

Lotto predicted between 1.5 million and 1.7 million tickets were going to be sold for Wednesday's draw. More than two million could be sold for Saturday's draw.

Winfield's advice is simple: "Get in early. But play sensibly, it's fun, we don't want you spending too much money."

Wednesday night's numbers were 30, 8, 2, 33, 21 and 3. The Bonus Ball is 13 and Powerball is 6.

The current largest win by a single ticket-holder is $44 million. That ticket was sold in November 2016 from Dairy Flat Food Mart and Liquor.

The luckiest Lotto store in the country - Hawke's Bay's Unichem Stortford Lodge - was flat-out ahead of Wednesday's mega Powerball draw. The store has had 49 Division One wins.

Kim, an employee at the store, said they had lines out the door all week.

"It's unbelievable how busy it is," she told Newshub. "We have queues to the door.

"People are buying not just one ticket but an extra ticket, just in case."