New Zealand Powerball - Everything You Need to Know

New Zealand Powerball is one of the most exciting lottery games in the Southern Hemisphere. You can play the NZ Powerball game for a chance to win its tax-free prizes, without having to travel to New Zealand! Introduced to Kiwi lottery fans in 2001, Powerball is patterned after the American game of the same name, but with one very significant difference - this lotto also has a bonus ball! Read our informative Powerball guide to learn everything you need to know about this amazing game.

How NZ Powerball Lotto Is Played

To participate in New Zealand Powerball draws you simply fill out your ticket with six numbers (from 1 to 40) as well as an additional Powerball number (from 1 to 10). You can choose your numbers yourself or have them selected randomly for you by using our Quick Pick feature. You can buy standard one-time entries, multi-draw packages, or take out a Powerball subscription.

In addition to the six main numbers and the additional Powerball number drawn, the lottery also draws a bonus ball. Matching the bonus ball helps players win prizes in some of Powerball's 13 secondary prize divisions. The bonus ball differentiates the New Zealand game from Powerball lotteries elsewhere in the world.

Powerball Draw Times

Powerball draws take place on Wednesdays at 20:20 and Saturdays at 20:00 (local New Zealand time).

Powerball NZ's Prizes and Odds

In addition to its exciting jackpot, this New Zealand lotto awards prizes in 13 secondary prize divisions. While matching the main numbers and the additional Powerball leads to prizes in many of the divisions, the bonus number drawn creates even more opportunities to win. NZ Powerball lotto has incredibly good winning odds as you can see in the table below.

Division Match Winning Odds




2nd Prize



3rd Prize



4th Prize



5th Prize



6th Prize



7th Prize



8th Prize



9th Prize



10th Prize



11th Prize



12th Prize



13th Prize



14th Prize



When you win NZ Powerball prizes, you receive them tax free! In addition to the incredible odds, that's another great reason to play the game!

Powerball Jackpot Cap

The New Zealand Powerball game kicks off with a guaranteed starting jackpot of NZ$4 million. If there are no winners of the top prize the jackpot will continue rolling over until it reaches a maximum amount of NZ$50 million. At that point, the lottery stages a Must Be Won draw. If there are no jackpot winners in that draw, the prize money rolls down and is shared by all winners in the next highest prize category.

Is Powerball the Same as the New Zealand Lotto?

When you play New Zealand Lotto, you fill out your ticket with six numbers (from 1 to 40). You then have the option of adding the Powerball line, with a selection of the Powerball number (from 1 to 10) at an additional cost. Both games are drawn together, meaning, the six numbers drawn are the same for Lotto and for Powerball.

The Lotto First Division prize is NZ$1 million for every draw. The minimum Powerball jackpot is NZ$4 million. Therefore, if your ticket matches the six main numbers drawn as well as the additional Powerball number, your prize would be NZ$5 million, which is the combined first division prize of the two games. This explains why the Powerball jackpot advertised on theLotter's website is NZ$1 million higher than the amount advertised on the official Lotto NZ website.

An additional game that can be added on to Lotto and Powerball NZ tickets purchased in New Zealand is Strike! When you play Strike! you want to match any of the first four Lotto balls in the order that they're drawn. The winning numbers must be on the same line of your ticket. If you match all four, you've won the top prize - Strike Four! Strike! can also be played on its own, without purchase of a Lotto or Powerball ticket.

New Zealand Powerball vs US Powerball

Comparison of NZ Powerball with other Powerball Games

New Zealand's Powerball game format (main numbers plus an additional Powerball number) is based on the American Powerball game, which is so popular that it has been copied by other lotteries around the world. Here is a quick comparison between what is offered in New Zealand and the main features of the games offered elsewhere.

  • New Zealand Powerball draws 6 main numbers from a range of 1 to 40 and a Powerball number from a range of 1 to 10. NZ Powerball also draws a bonus number and has 14 prize categories. Draws take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

  • US Powerball draws 5 main numbers from a range of 1 to 69 and a Powerball number from a range of 1 to 26. The American version of Powerball has 9 prize categories and draws take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

  • South Africa Powerball draws 5 main numbers from a range of 1-50 and a Powerball number from a range of 1-20. The SA Powerball has 9 prize categories. Draws take place on Tuesdays and Fridays.

  • Australia Powerball draws 7 main numbers from a range of 1 to 35 and a Powerball number from a range of 1 to 20. The Oz version of the Powerball has 9 prize categories and draws take place on Thursdays.

theLotter's Big NZ Powerball Winner

In June 2013, barely a month after joining theLotter, V.K. from Russia won NZ$226,101 playing the New Zealand Powerball lotto. V.K.'s Powerball win came about with a combined purchase of a subscription, which awarded him with every 10th ticket free, and an 8-number systematic form. His big win was an impressive NZ$142,857 second place prize, but because he played with the systematic form, he also won a 5th place prize of NZ$13,169 and a 6th place prize of NZ$560, each recurred a total of 6 times! In addition, V.K. won a 9th place prize of NZ$58 that was multiplied 15 times over! In total, V.K.'s winning strategy yielded him an additional NZ$83,244 in prizes on top of the match 6 win!

The Biggest NZ Powerball Jackpots of All Time

 Rank  Date Amount # of winners

1 (tie)

29 February 2020

NZ$50 million


1 (tie)

15 August 2020

NZ$50 million



9 November 2016

NZ$44 million



20 October 2021

NZ$42.2 million



9 July 2016

NZ$40 million



16 October 2019

NZ$39 million



22 November 2017

NZ$38 million



24 June 2009

NZ$36 million



9 April 2011

NZ$35.2 million



28 September 2013

NZ$33 million


1. NZ$50 MILLION - 29 February 2020

Powerball hit its new jackpot cap for the first time, offering a NZ$50 million must-be-won jackpot. Two lucky players from Auckland shared this record prize - Each won NZ$25 million from Powerball First Division and NZ$111,111 from Lotto First Division, for a total prize worth NZ$25,111,111 each.

1. NZ$50 MILLION - 15 August 2020

There were no winners of the Powerball jackpot in the "must-be-won" draw and the jackpot prize money rolled down to the Second Division where it was shared by ten lucky winners. Lotto New Zealand Head of Communications Marie Winfield said there had never been so many winners in a "must-be-won" draw before.

Each prize was made up of $5 million from Powerball First Division, $7,631 Second Division and $16,368 from Lotto Second Division making it a total prize of $5,023,999 per winner.

3. NZ$44 MILLION - 9 November 2016

The largest New Zealand Powerball jackpot awarded to a single ticket holder was won by a young couple from Auckland. They had been struggling to buy their first house for quite some time, and had sought the help of a mortgage broker, but it seems that it would be impossible to achieve their dream. Until the lucky winners found out that they had won a whopping NZ$44 million in the New Zealand Powerball lottery. They simply couldn't believe it.

"They were talking about the big win on the radio and I started screaming out, That's me!" said the happy jackpot winner.

biggest NZ Powerball jackpot

4. NZ$42.2 million - 20 October 2021

A couple from Pokeno won $42.2 million. The prize was made up of $42 million from Powerball First Division and $200,000 from Lotto First Division.

The winners only realised Powerball had been struck when they read the news on Thursday morning. "This prize is going to make a real difference both to our family and those in our community," the winners said in a statement. "Not only will we be able to help out the kids, but we'll also be able to help the people around us – we love where we live and are looking forward to being able to help out and support local businesses."

5. NZ$40 million - 9 July 2016

Three Powerball NZ players, from Te Awamutu, Dunedin, and Hamilton, each won a NZ$13.34m share of the lottery's "must-be-won" jackpot. The Te Awamutu winner said his win was "quite overwhelming" and he felt even luckier knowing he almost gave the winning ticket away. "I actually bought two tickets for the draw on the weekend, and I gave one to a friend for her birthday", he said.

The Dunedin winner said he kept his winning New Zealand lotto ticket in his underwear drawer until we had to bring it up to Auckland to collect our prize. No one would ever go looking in there," he said. The Hamilton family said they "had bacon, eggs and champagne for breakfast to celebrate" their share of the "life-changing amount of money."

6. NZ$39 million - 16 October 2019

Two lucky punters shared a whopping Powerball jackpot, each taking home a prize of NZ$19,142,857. One of the winners - a family from South Auckland - purchased their winning ticket online just minutes before the draw. "I ended up clicking 'buy' with two minutes to spare," the lucky winner said.

The other big winner, a mother from Central Auckland, had purchased her ticket well ahead of time. "I sat down with the kids a few months ago and we picked a bunch of lucky numbers that I've been playing ever since … I'm going to treat myself to a relaxing island holiday … what better way to celebrate such a life-changing moment," she said, quoted in the media. "After that, I've promised the kids that we'll go somewhere special overseas for Christmas this year. It's not something we've ever been able to do before, so we're all really excited. It will be a Christmas to remember!"

7. NZ$38 million - 22 November 2017

The jackpot was shared between two ticket holders. One winning ticket was sold at the Fresh Choice supermarket in Greytown and belonged to a family syndicate. The other ticket was sold at the New World store in Warkworth. The Warkworth winner said he'd been unwittingly driving around all weekend with the lucky ticket under his seat.

After confirming with the supermarket clerk that he had won the prize, he went for a swim at Snell's Beach to clear his head. "It was great, the water was cool, and I swam out deep. All the rushing thoughts disappeared, and I started to feel a lot calmer," he said. After finishing his swim, he drove home to tell his partner the good news. "When she realised I wasn't joking we had a big hug and a kiss. It was a very special moment."

record New Zealand Powerball jackpot

8. NZ$36 MILLION - 24 June 2009

The "Irish Luck" family syndicate from Masterton decided to play the lottery together for a chance to make their dreams come true. A mother, her two daughters, and her granddaughter formed the winning syndicate and the NZ$36 million came at a great time, as they were all going through financial difficulties. The mother told the press that she had been turned down by the bank when she applied for a loan to buy a car she badly needed.

"I look forward to going to see the bank manager now", the woman said after winning the jackpot. The four women split their prize, some of which was used to pay off their debts and the rest would ensure a very bright future.

9. NZ$35.2 MILLION - 9 April 2011

Two lucky players from Dannevirke and Hamilton shared a must be won jackpot prize in a draw that generated record-breaking ticket sales. "Winning a total of NZ$17.7 million is absolutely life-changing for these players" said Todd McLeay, chief executive of NZ Lotteries. Due to increased sales, the Powerball jackpot was boosted at the last moment from an advertised NZ$32 million to the immense amount of NZ$35.2 million.

biggest New Zealand Powerball jackpot

10. NZ$33 MILLION - 28 September 2013

One lucky player from Auckland won a staggering NZ$33 million Powerball prize even though his ticket did not include the winning Powerball number. As Powerball had exceeded the NZ$30 million jackpot cap, the top prize had reached must be won status.

Since there was no winning ticket with all the drawn numbers, the total amount of the first prize was distributed among the winning tickets of the second prize division. But as there was only one winning ticket, the Auckland player won the entire NZ$33 million amount, with his ticket matching the main numbers only.

biggest New Zealand Powerball jackpot

New Zealand Powerball History

The New Zealand Lotteries Commission (NZLC) was founded in August 1987 and Lotto NZ was established for the purpose of raising money for community activities and projects. The New Zealand Powerball game was launched in February 2001. The game was introduced with the goal of offering players a lottery with a variety of secondary prizes and competitive jackpot.

In October 2007, the New Zealand Powerball added another number to the original Powerball matrix, enabling players to select one out of ten instead of the original one out of nine. Three years later, another important change followed when the lottery's starting jackpot of NZ$3 million was raised to NZ$4 million.

A change in the game rules made in April 2017 set the Powerball jackpot cap at NZ$50 million. At that point, according to the Powerball rules, a must-be-won draw is held. If there are no winners of the Powerball jackpot, all the first division winnings are distributed among the next highest division's winners.

biggest New Zealand Powerball jackpot

What Good Causes Does NZ Powerball Support?

From every dollar spent on New Zealand lottery games, 22c is given to support good causes. According to the Lotto NZ website, these good causes range from transforming the lives of Kiwis with disabilities and saving thousands of New Zealanders who get into trouble on land and sea, to giving young people opportunities to learn new skills and lead an active lifestyle. Lotto NZ funding is making a difference in the lives of New Zealanders around the country.

New Zealand Lotto supports some 3,000 good causes every year and also supports Sport New Zealand, Creative New Zealand, and the New Zealand Film Commission.

The lottery's website states: "When you play Lotto New Zealand lottery games, you're a Kiwi helping other Kiwis". International lottery players who purchase New Zealand Powerball tickets at theLotter are also helping to support good causes in New Zealand.

It's Time to Join the Powerball NZ Fun!

With great odds and great tax-free prizes, Powerball NZ is a great lottery to play! Don't miss the fun - Purchase your New Zealand Powerball tickets today!