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What to do with $44 million?

By Jake Beleski

[email protected]

Travel the world, purchase a house, buy a professional rugby team, set up a trust for teacher support? What would you do?

That is the question on everyone’s mind with Lotto’s $44 million Powerball set to be won in tonight’s draw.

Powerball was not won on Saturday night, and now the biggest Powerball jackpot ever must be won tonight.

If no single ticket wins Powerball First Division, the prize pool rolls down to the next highest division with winners.

Lotto retailers have experienced an influx of customers, with most expecting a late flurry tonight.

An employee from Smith Hare and Christison (Mobil) in Carterton said yesterday that there had been a solid stream of customers since Saturday’s draw.

“It’s been steady and I assume that it will be frantic [today].

“We’ve had the usual people who come in and get them ahead of time, and I suspect there are plenty that are buying tickets for the first time – I suspect the last hour before the draw will be busy.”

P&K Supermarket in Martinborough had experience the same trends, an employee said.

“We haven’t had too many today, but the mad day will be [Wednesday].

“People that usually come in have done so but I’m sure we will see a whole lot more [today].”

A couple of well-known people around Wairarapa had differing answers when the big question was put to them.

Josh Syms, Wairarapa-Bush rugby coach, gave an understandable answer when asked the big question – “I’d want to buy my own professional team so I could appoint myself coach”.

New Central Districts Cricket board member Catherine Rossiter-Stead said she would set up a trust for teacher support in schools and renovate Carterton Swimming Pool.

“Having been a teacher for however long it was, I know how difficult it is, and having support is really important.”

Lotto New Zealand chief executive Wayne Pickup said it was a momentous occasion that could benefit a number of people.

“With a must-be-won draw, we know that there is definitely going to be one or more winners this Wednesday and with a jackpot this size, the win is going to be life changing.”


By the numbers


Before Powerball, the largest Big Wednesday prize of $36.9 million was won by a Masterton family syndicate in 2009.

In July, three players from Hamilton, Te Awamutu and Dunedin shared a Powerball jackpot of $40 million, winning $13.3 million each.

On Saturday, two players from New Plymouth and Nelson won $500,000 each in Lotto First Division.

One player won $500,000 on Saturday with Strike Four, with a ticket bought at Lotto ‘N’ Things in Oamaru.

$204 million was transferred back into the community last year thanks to Lotto players.



  1. I would help my families out first. Donate a lot away to charities. Hospital/Ambulance/Helping childrens organisation in Masterton etc. and then have a well deserved holiday somewhere where there is sunshine peace an harmony. An then I don’t no what else I would do. Possible get myself a good cook to cook my dinners every night. Dreams are free xx if your not in you don’t win.

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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