Different Types of Lottery in NZ

The New Zealand Lotto is an entity of the Crown, and it operates the nationwide lotteries here. The oldest and most popular draw is the Lotto that happens twice a week, with a top prize of NZ$1 million available.

There are other games to play as well: 4-Draws-Daily Keno, Daily Draw Bullseye, Daily Draw Play 3, and an array of scratchcards, Instant Kiwi. Powerball and Lotto Strike options can be added as extras with Lotto tickets too.

The profits from these lotteries, all publicly-generated, are handed over to the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board and are then distributed to recreation, arts, sports and community funding. The total contribution to date exceeds NZ$4 billion.

Various Lottery Games Available

There are many different games of chance available inside the lottery games themselves, and these are outlined here:

The Lotto

6 balls and 1 bonus ball are drawn from a machine which contains 40 balls, numbering 1 through 40. In order to win the First Division, or top prize, you would need to mark off all 6 of the numbers on the same line.

You may choose your own numbers for the Lotto games or have a machine generate a selection by buying a Lotto Dip.

Lotto Strike

Lotto Strike was introduced in 1993 and, at an additional cost, you can add 4 Lotto Strike numbers to your ticket. The aim is to match these, in order, to the 1st 4 numbers drawn in the Lotto. The minimum jackpot for this Strike 4 increases until it either reaches NZ$700 000 or a 10th draw occurs with no winner.


The Powerball was launched in 2001, and allows you to enhance a line by buying a Powerball number. If you decide to play Powerball, at least 4 numbers must be purchased for each of your tickets. This number will be between 1 and 10, and is selected from a machine separate to the chief Lotto draw. If you have the winning number on the same line as the one that wins the Lotto, you will win a share of the prize pool on top of what you take from the main draw.


Keno draws follow the format of bingo games and are made 4 times daily, and if you match 10 numbers to the 10 drawn for a NZ$1 bet, a prize of NZ$250 000 will be yours. There is a top prize of NZ$1 million to be had.


Bullseye is also a lottery which takes place on a daily basis, and commenced in 2009.

You need to choose a 6-digit number between 000000 and 999999, or have one generated for you, and the goal is to have this be as close as possible to the Bullseye number. Tickets are NZ$2 for 1 day, and NZ$10 for 1 number over 7 games in 7 days. If you match the Bullseye number exactly, you take home the First Division prize - a minimum of NZ$100 000. This prize has a threshold of NZ$400 000, and if it is reached, the following game will become a Must be Won draw. If no one wins this, the jackpot will be passed on to the next division.

Smaller prizes are available if your number falls within 50 000 of either side of the Bullseye target, with the amount to be won getting bigger the closer you are. In terms of winning, numbers are held to be circular: 999999 will be followed by 000000, i.e. if the Bullseye number was 975555 the range of winning numbers would extend from 925555 up to 025555.

Instant Kiwi

Instant Kiwi is the name by which the scratchcards linked to the New Zealand Lotto are known. They were initiated in 1989, replacing the Golden Kiwi, and have evolved over the intervening years to their current format of 4 ticket-groups and 5 price-levels. These are the only Lotto games in New Zealand that have a purchase age-restriction and minor prize-claim age-restriction attached, and cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 18.

Play 3

Play 3 commenced in 2014, and is the 3rd Lotto game to take place daily. You will be asked to choose a number comprised of 3 digits ranging between the totals of 000 and 999, or can opt for a randomly generated one to be chosen for you. There are larger prizes available for Play 3 games in the form of Multi-Play types for increasing amounts of money.

Tips on Winning the Lotto

Various people will have various theories, but these draws are random, and luck plays the biggest part in determining the winner. Thanks to how cheap the tickets are, play can be enjoyed at no real cost, and the excitement of waiting for the numbers to be announced is hard to beat! The only tip for playing the lottery is that you have fun – detach from the outcome, and enjoy the experience for what it is, a gamble with a chance to win big!