Overview of the New Zealand Lottery
There are a variety of lottery games available to be played in New Zealand, ranging from the popular New Zealand Lotto to scratch cards and keno draws. Under the New Zealand Gambling Act of 2003, only those who are 18 years or older are permitted to play New Zealand Lottery games.
All of the nationwide lotteries in New Zealand are operated by a single entity, the New Zealand Lotteries Commission, which was established in 1986 and has its headquarters in the capital of Auckland in North Island.
The New Zealand Lotteries Grants Board
All profits generated from the New Zealand lottery games operated by the New Zealand Lotteries Commission are automatically transferred to the New Zealand Lotteries Grants Board. From here, these funds are distributed to various other governmental and national organisations to fund arts projects, recreation, community endeavours and sports industries.
Some of the local organisations that have benefited the most from lottery funds include the New Zealand Film Commission, Sport New Zealand and Creative New Zealand.
History of the New Zealand Lottery
The New Zealand Lottery was first established in 1987, shortly after the creation of Lotto games was approved by the New Zealand Cabinet a year earlier. The first New Zealand lottery game to be held was the Golden Kiwi lottery, which would later be replaced by Instant Kiwi scratch cards in 1989. The very first Golden Kiwi lottery draw was held on the 1st of August, 1987, and offered a total prize pool of almost $360,000.
Over time, the range of New Zealand lottery games has also expanded. The optional Lotto Strike feature was added to the collection in 1993, and a year later the Commission began to hold keno draws as well. Powerball was instated during 2001, and Winning Wheel and Big Wednesdays were soon to follow in 2004 and 2005, respectively.
Lottery Draws and Games in New Zealand
The oldest lottery draw operated by the New Zealand Lotteries Commission is the weekly Lotto draw, and the three additional main New Zealand lottery draws are the Big Wednesday draw, the Bullseye draw and Keno, in which draws happen on a twice-daily basis.
Also offered are Instant Kiwi scratch cards, Play 3 and Winning Wheel. The Winning Wheel game is a free game that is available to any player who purchases a New Zealand lottery ticket, and both Powerball and Lotto Strike are optional extras with each Lotto ticket sold.
The New Zealand Weekly Lotto
Today, the New Zealand Lotto is still in operation, and televised draws are held on a weekly basis. The Lotto draw consists of 40 balls, which are numbered from 1 to 40. Of these balls, 6 winning numbers will be selected, as well as a single bonus ball. In order to win the First Division prize, players must be able to mark off all of the 6 winning numbers on a single line of their lottery tickets.
Lotto players may also add an extra 4 Lotto Strike numbers to their tickets. The objective of the Lotto Strike game is to match these 4 numbers with the first four numbers of the respective Lotto draw, in exactly the same order.