The New Zealand Powerball is unlike other “Powerball” lotteries—in a good way. Eschewing the traditional formula used by just about any other lottery, the New Zealand Powerball acts as a supplementary game to the popular New Zealand Lotto. In other words, it’s completely dependent on the NZ Lotto. It’s unconventional, for sure, but it helps this lottery game stand out from the rest. Features like a big minimum jackpot, rollovers, and tax-free prizes—among others—round out the New Zealand Powerball DNA. What else does it have in store? Find out below!
Originally, when the New Zealand Powerball was first introduced back in February of 2001, the format was different than what is currently used. For instance, 8 numbers were drawn—not to mention the fact that the minimum and maximum jackpots were set at NZ$1 million and NZ$15 million, respectively.
As the years went on, the New Zealand Powerball saw various changes to the format. The minimum jackpot was raised to NZ$4 million, while the maximum was raised to NZ$30 million. In 2015, after the 7th prize tier was introduced, the maximum jackpot was raised to NZ$40 million—and then, eventually, raised to the current threshold.
Unlike most lotteries, the New Zealand Powerball is a supplementary game to the New Zealand Lotto—to play the NZ Powerball, you must first play the NZ Lotto. Confused yet? It’s a bit unusual, but it’s easy once you learn how. It works like this:
To win the New Zealand Powerball, you must match all six NZ Lotto numbers and—of course—the Powerball number. Keep in mind that the six numbers can be in any order. If you don’t win the jackpot, you can still win in six other prize tiers. In fact, you can win a prize by matching at least three NZ Lotto numbers, along with the Powerball.
Speaking of prizes, the New Zealand Powerball jackpot starts at NZ$4 million. If no one wins the coveted grand prize, then a rollover will occur—which could result in even bigger prizes down the line. Even better, draws are held twice a week (every Wednesdays and Saturdays), so prizes could grow faster.
That said, New Zealand Powerball imposes a NZ$50 million rollover cap. This means that if the jackpot reaches that amount, someone must win the grand prize during a special “Must be Won” draw—otherwise, it will be shared among winners of the next prize tier.
The good thing about the New Zealand Powerball is that it doesn’t emulate the format of its more popular US counterpart. Why is that good, you ask? Well, not using the same format as the US Powerball means that the odds won’t be as astronomical. In fact, the New Zealand Powerball offers decent odds in comparison. Check out the breakdown below:
If you’re lucky enough to win the New Zealand Powerball, there are a few guidelines regarding prize claiming that you should be aware of:
Another thing to keep in mind is that winners have a total of 12 months from the date of the draw to claim their prizes. All prizes that remain unclaimed after the 1-year deadline are considered void—in which case, it will go simply go back to the prize pool.
As for taxes, New Zealand Powerball prizes are 100% tax-free at the source. Of course, if you live in another country, it’s a different story. As such, better check your local tax laws.
Prizes might not be as big as the ones offered by the US Powerball, but thanks to rollovers and the guaranteed NZ$4 million minimum jackpot, the New Zealand Powerball is definitely no slouch. In fact, many players have won big here. These are the biggest winners so far:
Ready to take on the New Zealand Powerball?
Though the New Zealand Powerball deviates from usual lottery conventions, it offers features that should make lotto lovers everywhere take notice. Jackpots, for instance, start at a sizeable NZ$4 million—and could keep growing until someone wins, or the NZ$50 million threshold has been reached. More than that, you can also win in 6 other secondary prize-tiers. Of course, it also helps that the odds are quite decent and that the prizes are 100% tax-free. These features alone make New Zealand Powerball worth looking into.
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