How to Play New Zealand Lotto (NZ)? – 5 Steps for Beginners

Do you want to try your beginner’s luck with the New Zealand Lotto? The lotto is an excellent entry game into the world of lottery and starting with the NZ Lotto will give you access to big prizes. It’s pretty straightforward and our steps for novices make it even easier for you to play the game.

We’ll share everything you need to know about the NZ Lotto – from when it started to jackpot records and where to play. The NZ Lotto has produced several instant millionaires with the second-highest single-ticket winner scoring a mega $33 million in 2013. And, yes you can play from anywhere in the world when you register an account with an online lottery site!

The biggest jackpot ever won in this lotto game is revealed further down! So, keep reading and discover some pro lottery tips to up your chances of winning the millions you’ve always dreamed of having in your bank account!

What You Should Know About the New Zealand Lotto

New Zealand Lotto Lottery

How Did the New Zealand Lotto Start?

The New Zealand Lotteries Commission, otherwise known as Lotto New Zealand, first started in 1987 with its oldest and most popular game being the NZ Lotto. Profits from lottery ticket sales are transferred to the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board which is responsible for distributing the funds to arts, community, recreation, and sports projects.

After being granted approval by the New Zealand Cabinet in February 1987, the first Lotto draw took place six months later, on August 1st. The top prize was $359,808. The games have since expanded to include a wide range of lotteries now available for both local and foreign players.

The NZ Lotto, together with Powerball and Strike, accounts for over 84% of lottery ticket sales in the country. Since its inception in 1987, rules have changed to include guaranteed millionaires every week from November 2002 to August 2004, and the addition of extra special draws in 1998. Lotto Strike was introduced on April 3rd, 1993 and Powerball in February 2001.

Age to Play New Zealand Lotto

Lottery players must be 18 years or older to play NZ Lotto. If you register an online account with the official lottery website, you’ll need to complete an age confirmation form and submit your valid NZ driving license or passport. Licensed retailers may request proof of your age if you purchase your ticket in-store.

Third-party online lottery sites require players to be 18 years or older before playing on their platforms.

Where to Play New Zealand Lotto

There are a number of options for playing New Zealand Lotto and choosing the best playing method depends on your location and ease of convenience. Local NZ lottery players can purchase paper tickets at one of the 1,400 Lotto stores available throughout the country.

Otherwise, they can register their MyLotto online account on the official Lotto New Zealand website. Downloading the MyLotto app makes it easy for locals to play the lotto game from anywhere in the country.

If you’re playing from another country, you can register an account with a licensed and regulated online lottery site such as theLotter platform. These user-friendly sites with fast customer support  are perfect for beginners who need questions answered in a rush! But, be sure to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions before playing your first game, so you know all about payout procedures.

Play New Zealand Lotto

Credit: TheLotter

If you want to access NZ Lotto from countries like India, consider registering an account with versatile sites like LottoSmile that cater to these locations.

When using online lottery agents like these, small prizes are usually paid directly into your online wallet and no commission is charged on winnings. Some agents are even mobile-friendly, allowing you to play lotteries while on the go – how’s that for convenience?

When Draws Take Place

NZ Lotto draws take place twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday evenings. Live Wednesday draws can be watched on the local New Zealand TV1 channel at 8.20 pm, local time. Saturday evening drawings take place at 8.00 pm on the same TV channel.

Price of Tickets

The price of tickets is NZ$.70 per line but you need to buy a minimum of four lines so each entry will cost you NZ$2.80. If you choose to add Strike to your NZ Lotto ticket, it will cost another NZ$1.00 per line. Powerball can be added to any Lotto line and costs NZ$0.80 per addition.

Odds of Winning

The probability of winning the NZ Lotto is 1 in 3,838,380 with the First Division prize always set at $1 million. Adding Powerball to your Lotto ticket gives you the chance of winning a minimum of $4 million but the main prize is capped at $50 million.

The NZ Lotto has seven prize tiers with three divisions including bonus balls. The table below outlines the overall odds of winning each prize tier.

Prize Tier Winning Combination Odds of Winning
1 6 main numbers 1: 3,838,380
2 5 main numbers + Bonus 1: 639,730
3 5 main numbers 1: 19,386
4 4 main numbers + Bonus 1: 7,754
5 4 main numbers 1: 485
6 3 main numbers + Bonus 1: 363
7 3 main numbers 1: 35

New Zealand Lotto Strike

Strike gives lotto players more chances to win the top prize. It can be added to your Lotto or Powerball ticket or played on its own. By matching any of the first four Lotto numbers drawn on the same line of your ticket, you get to win the main prize.

New Zealand Lotto Powerball

Playing the Powerball with your Lotto numbers increases your First Division winnings PLUS enters you into the Powerball Jackpot draw. To play Powerball, select a number from 1 to 10 and add it to your Lotto line.

Highest Jackpot Ever Won from the New Zealand Lotto

The highest jackpot ever won from the New Zealand Lotto was won by a young Hibiscus Coast couple who scored just over $44 million by adding Powerball to their Lotto ticket. The winning draw took place in November 2016.

The first to hit the $50 million jackpot cap was won by two winners in February 2020 who shared the prize equally between themselves. The one winning ticket was purchased at a Lotto store in Countdown Manukau City Mall while the other winner played using the MyLotto app.

Since its first draw in August 1987, 943 Kiwis have become millionaires through playing the NZ Lotto game.

5 Steps to Play the New Zealand Lotto

Choose How to Play (Online or In-Store)

Lottery players have a number of playing methods to choose from. Kiwis can either play in-store or online with the official lottery website or by registering with the MyLotto app. If you’re living overseas, you may be blocked from accessing MyLotto but if you’re a non-resident staying in or visiting the country, you can play online.

Non-residents can play NZ Lotto by signing up with some of the best lottery betting sites available online.

Select which draw days you want to play

You can play twice a week (Wednesdays and Saturdays) and select which draw days you want to enter. Tick the relevant boxes on your physical ticket or click on the days you want to play when using the online method. Players can choose Subscriptions which automatically enter their tickets into every draw.

Pick Your Numbers and How Many Lines to Play

You need to pick six numbers from 1 to 40 and play a minimum of four lines per ticket. If you’re adding Strike to your Lotto ticket, pick four numbers from 1 to 40. If you select Powerball, choose one number from 1 to 10.

Besides manually picking your own numbers, the official NZ Lotto gives you two other ways to pick your lucky lottery numbers:

  • Dip: A number generator that will pick random numbers for you.
  • Favorites: This allows you to save your favorite numbers and play them regularly.

Online lottery sites often include the Quick Pick option if you want to avoid the angst of picking your own numbers for the NZ Lotto game! You can select Subscriptions on most online lottery platforms as well if you want your ticket automatically submitted for every draw.

New Zealand quick picks

Credit: TheLotter

Pay for Your Ticket

If you’re purchasing your ticket in-store, hand it in when you’ve completed all the necessary details to make a payment. You need to check if you can buy lottery tickets with a credit or debit card if you’re playing in-store. Paying for your online ticket is easy and you can use your debit or credit card or do a bank EFT.

If you’re playing through a third-party online lottery site check out their payment methods – most platforms offer various options for paying for your ticket including from your eWallet. 

Wait for the Draw

The last step to playing the NZ Lotto is to sit back and wait for the NZ Lotto draw results! If you’re in the country on the day of the draw, be sure to watch it live on Channel TV1. Otherwise, wait for the results to be published on the official New Zealand Lotto website at 9.15pm, local time. Online lottery sites will load the results as well after each draw.

Tips on How to Win the New Zealand Lotto

Tip 1: Choose a Lottery Strategy

Pro lottery players love to use different strategies to increase their chances of winning the jackpot. The lottery wheeling system is one interesting approach that’s a mathematical-based strategy. This method requires you to add your own numbers to get scientifically determined combinations that are supposed to have a higher probability of you winning the lottery.

Tip 2: Research Past Draw Numbers

Researching the past NZ Lotto draw numbers will tell you which ones are hot or cold! Hot numbers are those that are played frequently and are more likely to be drawn at the next draw. Cold numbers are those played less frequently BUT could randomly appear at any time! Playing hot and cold numbers could help you win the next NZ Lotto so give it a go.

Tip 3: Use the Law of Attraction

Lotto players have won using the law of attraction to win the lottery. By focusing your attention on your lucky numbers and sending out positive energies to the Universe, you can increase your chances of winning the NZ Lotto. But, make sure you’ve shifted any limiting beliefs that could block your manifestation efforts!

Tip 4: Play Multiple Games

Playing multiple games ensures you enter your tickets consistently while increasing your odds of winning the First Division prize. Selecting multiple entries or signing up as a subscriber means you get to play more than one game and improve your chances of scoring the NZ Lotto millions!

Tip 5: Join a Lottery Syndicate

The MyLotto online account allows you to play the NZ Lotto as part of a syndicate. Known as Team Play, you get to buy tickets with family, friends, or work colleagues which increases your chances of winning and adds to the thrill of draw day. Online lottery sites also let their players join syndicates where members share the cost of the tickets and the winnings.

How Do You Claim if You’ve Won a Prize from the New Zealand Lottery?

Prizes of up to NZ$1,000 are immediately deposited into your MyLotto online account. If you’ve won over NZ$1,000, an online claim form will be sent to you to be completed before your winnings are deposited into your bank account.

Paper tickets can be claimed at any NZ Lotto retailer. However, winnings of over NZ$1,000 requires you to complete a claim form which will be submitted to head office for payment into your local bank account.

If you’ve played abroad using an online lottery platform, smaller winnings are paid directly into your online wallet. A different claim process will be required for larger prizes and understanding the payout rules will ensure you get your winnings.

Final Thoughts

The New Zealand Lotto game is exciting especially when you add Strike and Powerball. Many players have won prizes including the jackpot and playing the game is easy. Accessing the NZ Lotto is conveniently simple too – whether you’re playing as a local Kiwi or as a foreigner! Both online and in-store lottery ticket purchases make it easy for you to play every draw.

Use our five simple steps to get you playing NZ Lotto as a beginner – believe us when we say you won’t be a novice lotto player for long!


Who can play the New Zealand lottery?

The New Zealand Lotto is open to anyone who wants to play the game as long as they’re 18 years or older. Local Kiwis can play the game using the official MyLotto app or by visiting one of the many Lotto stores in the country. Players from abroad can access NZ Lotto using an online lottery site that offers the game.

Are there people who’ve won the New Zealand lottery?

Numerous people have won the New Zealand lottery and their stories are shared on the official NZ Lotto website. Winners include those who have purchased single tickets or who have participated in syndicates.

What is the latest time to buy Lotto NZ?

If you’re playing as a subscriber on MyLotto you’ll need to set up your subscription by Monday 11pm for the Wednesday draw and 11pm on Thursday for Saturday’s drawing. Online lottery sites will have their own rules for subscription members so make sure you read the terms and conditions to ensure you don’t miss a draw.
Ticket sales for Lotto, Powerball, and Strike close at 7.30pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays for local players. Online lottery platforms often close ticket sales a few hours before a draw.

Do you get taxed on lotto wins NZ?

Taxes aren’t levied on New Zealand lottery winnings but you will pay tax on interest earned from prize money. Lottery winnings may be taxable in other countries so familiarizing yourself with the tax laws is important if you want to avoid breaching them.

How is lottery paid out NZ?

If you win the NZ Lotto your winnings are paid out within three working days of receiving your prize claim form. The prize money is paid directly into your nominated bank account. You have 12 months to claim your winnings. If you played through an online lottery site, different payout rules may apply.