What do most Lotto winners do with their winnings?

Must See 28/02/2018

We've all dreamed of winning the Lotto but what actually happens when our numbers come up? The answer is rather heart-warming.

New research out today from Lotto NZ reveals three-quarters of Powerball winners think of sharing before spending.

"The thing that stands out in some of our favourite stories of the year is what our winners are usually thinking of first – other people," says Emilia Mazur, General Manager Corporate Communications.

One lucky Powerball winner from Tauranga was even thinking of others before his numbers came up.

 "A week before I won Lotto, I saw an ambulance with a donor's name on it and I thought, 'if I ever win Lotto, that's what I would do' and then 10 days' later I won, he said.

$5.5million dollars in winnings later, he's now splashing out on two ambulances for his local hospital.

"They're going to say 'donated by a Lotto winner' on the side. I hope that it will prompt others to pay it forward if they ever find themselves in a fortunate position like I have.

"My life was saved many years ago by a St John ambulance and it's a marvellous feeling repaying that kindness back."

It's this kind of behaviour that led to Lotto NZ's  new advert inspired true story of a Kiwi man who won $15 million and, honouring a promise made long ago, went halves with his mate. 

2017 was the luckiest year on record for Powerball winners.

"Last year, there were 19 different Powerball winners from far-flung locations including Clive, Methven, Warkworth and Levin – what most of them had in common was the desire to share their good fortune," said Ms Mazur.

"Another Tauranga man won $10 million with Powerball in July and once he got over the shock of winning, his first thought was his community and he has since shared some of his winnings to upgrade his marae."

Syndicate players are natural sharers – not only do they share the winnings among themselves but they also then want to help out others..

The largest prize won in recent memory was a $30 million jackpot won by 10 Taupo women who had worked together, and played Lotto together, for many years.

"Everyone is just so happy, it's created an amazing sense of freedom, everyone is happy as a clam,' said syndicate leader Tina.

"For me personally, knowing how much of a significant difference you have made to your family and your circle of friends – there's just no feeling like it.

"It's an unquantifiable feeling – it's magic."