Lotto Powerball $50m jackpot: 'It's safer to buy online' - Lotto player

Lotto players reveal whether they buy tickets in-store or online and why.
Lotto players reveal whether they buy tickets in-store or online and why. Photo credit: Newshub.

On Saturday, one lucky winner - or maybe several - will get a huge chunk of money as the Lotto Powerball jackpot of $50 million has to be won.   

Players have the choice to buy tickets in-store or online, using a 'lucky dip' of random numbers or picking their own. While buying online may be faster than standing in a queue, some players prefer to hold that important piece of yellow paper in their hand.

Referring to herself as a "sporadic" Lotto player, Hannah buys a Lotto ticket when Powerball jackpots to several million and prefers to buy it in-store.   

"When you buy something, you want the goods in your hand."

While she happened to buy this week's ticket at one of the "lucky" stores, she doesn't expect it to increase her chances.

"More foot traffic increases the number of buyers, therefore increasing the store's chances of selling a winner," Hannah said.

Rather than using set numbers, Hannah says she prefers numbers to be picked at random.

"I wouldn't be able to choose set numbers: I [don't] feel like it would give me as much of a chance to win."

Having won smaller Lotto prizes "about 17 times", Sharon says it's safer to buy tickets online.

"Sometimes I buy dad's ticket separately: it sits on the fridge under a magnet or scrunched in a phone case, and we lose [it] or it's so scrunched it won't scan.

"Imagine how you'd feel if you'd won a major prize and it expired," Sharon said.

While she prefers to choose numbers randomly, if funds are low, she buys a few lines and picks her own.

"I'm of the belief that you just need to be in to win - not spend [a lot] - just be in," Sharon said.

"[Buying online] there's no chance of losing it, no queues - and you can buy it last-minute," Sharon added.

Ahead of Wednesday's $42 million draw which wasn't won, the luckiest Lotto store in the country - Hawke's Bay's Unichem Stortford Lodge - was flat-out. 

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."

Lotto spokesperson Marie Winfield said there has been a buzz in Lotto stores across the country as people dream of winning big.

First Division has been won 184 times. The largest-ever Powerball win was made in November 2016, when a Hibiscus Coast, Auckland couple won $44 million from their ticket.