‘Lucky’ Lotto stores busy as jackpot hits $30m
Nanette Woodham will be blowing a few kisses towards Lotto tickets today. The Hawke’s Bay woman is the manager at the country’s luckiest lotto outlet — Unichem Stortford Lodge in Hastings — and is well used to people flooding in when a big Powerball jackpot is up for grabs.
Tonight, one is.
It’s worth $30 million, making it the third largest jackpot in Lotto’s history.
And if any place is most likely to sell the lucky ticket, it might just be Unichem Stortford Lodge.
It gets the gold star, by far, for the number of Lotto family — that’s Lotto, Powerball and Strike — first division winning tickets sold since the national lottery began in 1987.
Forty-five first division tickets have crossed the counter at Unichem Stortford Lodge, well ahead of runners-up Nelson’s Richmond Night N Day, with 32.
So Woodham’s had a busy week and is expecting a busier day today, when extra staff will be rostered on to deal with demand.
“We’ve got a huge following, we’re one of Hastings’ tourist destinations . . . and once you get around $25-30m, that’s when you get people who never play Lotto.”
After 23 years behind the counter, she’s had her share of requests for a kiss — for the ticket, of course. “I’ve done a few, but I just blow the kiss.”
Dairy Flat Food Mart and Liquor manager Kiranjeet Singh has also been flat tack.
A year ago the North Auckland store sold the biggest Powerball jackpot in New Zealand history, when a young Hibiscus Coast family trying to save for their first home won $44m.
Sales had increased by about 15 per cent since the big win, and he had spoken to a few hopeful punters this week.
“They are saying it might happen again. Luck might strike.”
The previous highest Powerball jackpot was $33m, won by a married “Westie” who was excited to be able to buy a new car for the first time in his life.
Other big winners scattered around the country have scooped upwards of $20.5m over the last eight years.
Almost all keep their identities secret, but Te Kauwhata supermarket worker Trevor Cooper famously went public about his $27m windfall in 2012, buying several properties and indulging in his love of off-road buggy racing before retreating from view.