Lotto: Waikato's Pōkeno abuzz after massive $42m Lotto win in small town

The small Waikato settlement of Pōkeno is abuzz on Thursday morning after one lucky punter won more than $42 million in Wednesday night's Lotto draw.

A player who purchased their ticket at Countdown Pōkeno took out Lotto Powerball, winning $42.2 million, the second-largest prize ever won by a single Kiwi. The largest win was $44.1 million in November 2016 by a player in Auckland.

The AM Show sent roving reporter Aziz Al-Sa'afin out to Pōkeno to see if he could track down the winner, who was yet to take their ticket into the store.

"We have managed to come to the exact counter, where not just $42 million, but $42.2 million was sold here, the winning Lotto ticket," Al-Sa'afin told The AM Show. 

"For a population of 3320 people, some people know who it is. I have spoken to a few people this morning. I have blown my cover. They are avoiding me like the plague, but I have spoken to two people who have told me that they think they know who it is."

Out on the street, Al-Sa'afin asked several locals if they were now multi-millionaires.  

"No, I am not a winner. I brought a ticket... but no," one person said.

Another, the owner of the local superette, said it was "very exciting" and he was "happy that it goes in our community".

One man said he did purchase a ticket, but unfortunately not at the right location.

Asked what was the best thing about Pōkeno - well known for its bacon and icecream - the man told Al-Sa'afin: "Everything aye".

Peter thought it might "lift the profile of the place".

"[It'll] give these shops a decent handout as they buy more stuff. Just making living a bit more easy I suppose."

A local shopping at the Countdown said the winner should "spread the love". 

"What are they going to do with $42 million. It's ridiculous. They could just give a little bit to everyone, that'd be great."

There was a surge in players wanting to check their tickets online on Thursday morning but were caught out by technical difficulties. 

"Following the big draw we have a large number of tickets to process this morning," Lotto said. "This needs to be done while MyLotto and the Lotto NZ App are closed, which means MyLotto and the App will be opening slightly later than usual today."

The website is now back online for people to see if they snatched up any winnings. Beyond the Powerball win, four players are each taking home $200,000 after winning Lotto First Division, while there were seven lucky Strike players.