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Record $20 Million Powerball Jackpot Creates Nationwide Buzz

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

1 OCTOBER 2008 - This weekend sees the biggest Powerball jackpot up for grabs in its seven year history - creating a buzz around the nation, queues in Lotto shops and a rise in registrations for

Powerball has jackpotted to $20 million and with an extra $1 million on offer in Lotto First Division, people all around New Zealand are asking 'what would you do if you won $21 million?', says NZ Lotteries' Chief Executive, Todd McLeay.

"Recently, $20 million has been put aside to rebuild new infrastructure for the Chatham Islands and a large, high-performing dairy farm in the Waikato just sold for $20 million. $20 million would also be enough to buy about sixty houses for all your friends and family (at an average house price of $339,000), or you could just put it in the bank and earn about $30,000 a week.

"However, I imagine whoever wins will have their own plans for their $20 million!" Mr McLeay says.

NZ Lotteries has had a rise in queries from people wanting to form office syndicates to buy tickets for the big draw - so the prize could even be shared amongst several players.

The largest combined Lotto Powerball prize won to date was $19,054,243, sold at Pak N Save New Plymouth for the 5 April 2008 draw - which will easily be surpassed if Powerball is won by a single ticket holder this weekend.

Generally, NZ Lotteries estimates around half a million more tickets are sold for big draws which means more profits will be available to strengthen and support communities by funding a range of groups, services and projects. About 20 cents in every dollar spent on Lotto products is returned back to the community through the NZ Lottery Grants Board.

"In 21 years NZ Lotteries has returned more than $2.3 billion to communities through the NZ Lottery Grants Board. We are delighted to play a part in making so many Kiwi dreams come true," says Mr McLeay.

For example, a recently reported grant of up to $3.7 million from the NZ Lottery Grants Board will help fund Waitaki District Council to complete the restoration and refurbishment of the Oamaru Opera House, and the original Council Chambers.

A $10,000 lotteries grant has given a real boost to the Waiheke Toy Library, contributing to the purchase of new toys, salaries, shelving, website and conference expenses.

A $3 million lotteries grant is helping raise the roof on a 3,000 seat indoor stadium, Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua, Wellington.

And the NZ Lottery Grants Board recently gave a grant of $433,000 to New Zealand's first traditional Maori garden. The Te Parapara garden in Hamilton aims to recreate a pre-European Maori setting incorporating flax bushes, cabbage trees and areas to grow crops such as kumara and potato.

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