History

1985
The "Sport on the Move" report by the Government-appointed Sports Development Inquiry identifies lotteries as a source of extra revenue for recreation, arts, community projects and sports.

December 1985
Cabinet asks the Department of Internal Affairs to prepare a detailed proposal for the introduction of Lotto.

February 1986
Cabinet approval for the introduction of Lotto.

November 1986
Enabling legislation introduced to Parliament.

December 1986
The Government appoints an Interim New Zealand Lotteries Commission.

April 1987
Parliament passes enabling legislation with a vote of 47-20 in favour.

1 June 1987
New Zealand Lotteries Commission established (now known as "Lotto New Zealand"). Golden Kiwi came under the Commission's authority and sales for the 12 months to 31 March 1988 were $75,995,880.

22 July 1987
The first Lotto tickets go on sale.

1 August 1987
Lotto's first draw. The numbers were 4, 8, 16, 29, 32, and 40. The bonus ball was 30. The First Division prize on offer was $359,808.

14 September 1989
First Instant Kiwi games go on sale following the final Golden Kiwi Draw on 30 August. Three months' ticket stock was sold within the first three weeks with tickets running out completely for a period in early November.

3 April 1993
The first Lotto Strike game played. The first four numbers, in order, were 7, 36, 8, and 1.

13 October 1994
The first Keno draw. The numbers were 2, 6, 7, 14, 26, 27, 29, 34, 35, 37, 43, 45, 47, 49, 50, 53, 60, 61, 70, and 80.

17 February 2001
Powerball introduced. The first Powerball number drawn was 3.

17 August 2002
Keno is extended to Saturdays and Sundays.

2 November 2002
A second bonus ball is introduced to Lotto. The first bonus ball for the 2 November 2002 draw was 10 and the second bonus ball was 16.

10 May 2004
Keno extended with a 1pm draw and a 6pm draw each day of the week.

8 August 2004
Lotto First Division is now a million dollars every week and shared evenly between winners. Second Division prize increased from an average of $4,000 to an average of $20,000. Average prize values in all other divisions also increase. Second bonus ball phased out due to customer demand for simplicity.

21 August 2004
Peter McCabe wins $250,000 when he is the first person to spin Lotto's Winning Wheel.

4 September 2005
Kathy Laugesen becomes the first person win $1 million on Lotto's Winning Wheel.

26 October 2005
Big Wednesday, a mid-week game, is launched giving players the chance to win the ultimate lifestyle. The prize pool on offer includes $2 million in cash and luxury prizes consisting of Porsche 911, Range Rover Vogue V8, $50,000 worth of luxury travel every year for five years, $250,000 American Express Platinum card, Mustang luxury launch and a $500,000 bach.

20 May 2006
A Lotto ticket bought in Kaeo in Northland wins a Lotto Powerball First Division prize of $17,992,975 - the largest Powerball jackpot then ever won by a single ticket in New Zealand.

5 August 2006
Lotto New Zealand celebrates Lotto's 1,000th Draw..

25 August 2007
Lotto celebrates its 20th Birthday on Saturday 25 August with $5.5 million in extra prizes on offer.

28 October 2007
The minimum First Division Lotto Powerball prize changes from $1 million to $3 million. A second big change is that Powerball players can now choose their Powerball number from between 1 and 10, rather than the previous 1 to 8.

05 April 2008
A new biggest-ever Lotto and Powerball combined single ticket of $19,054,243 is won by a New Plymouth family who bought their ticket at Pak N Save New Plymouth.

26 May 2008
Lotto New Zealand launches its online sales channel, ‘MyLotto’, that enables lottery players to purchase lottery tickets through the internet

18 October 2008
Lotto Powerball reaches a $30 million ‘Must Be Won’ draw for the first time in its history. Lotto sales for the draw break all previous records and five Powerball players split the prize, winning $6.1 million each. The winners were in Auckland, Manukau, Wellington (x2) and Reefton.

24 June 2009
Big Wednesday reaches a $36 million 'Must Be Won' draw for the first time in its history. Its 21 week jackpot run is the longest in Lotto New Zealand's history. The winners of the $36 million are a syndicate of four family members from Masterton.

September 2009
Lotto New Zealand reports that sales for 208/09 reached a new record of $907.7 million. Lotto New Zealand also increased the amount transferred to the Lottery Grants Board, distributing a record $189.3 million ($32.4 million more than the previous year).

September 2009
Instant Kiwi celebrates its 20th Birthday.

03 October 2009
A $22.4 million Powerball prize is won by a ticket sold in Manukau. The $22.4 million win by a single ticket set a new record for the largest Powerball prize won to date.

12 October 2009
Lotto New Zealand launches its world-first lottery game Bullseye. Players pick any number between 000,000 and 999,999.

17 February 2010
A Bullseye jackpot run of 61 draws came to an end with a Kaitaia winner collecting the top prize of $410,001 in Bulleye’s first ever ‘Must Be Won’ draw.

17 March 2010
The first-ever Big Wednesday promotion was a success with the winner, originally from Taranaki, heading to New York with friends and family for a luxury holiday thanks to the Trump Up Your Life promotion

May 2010
Instant Kiwi relaunches its entire line-up of tickets, with a fresh and eye-catching new look and new prize structures designed to give players more prizes and better prizes.

4 October 2010
A new look for Lotto is launched that includes revised pricing for Powerball to account for the Government’s GST changes and a new starting point for Powerball, which increases from $3 million to $4 million in a base week. A new campaign is launched featuring Wilson the dog.

16 October 2010
The biggest individual Lotto Powerball prize in Lotto New Zealand's history to date was won, with a massive $28.7 million won by a player in Papakura.

5 March 2011
Following a devastating February earthquake in Christchurch, Lotto New Zealand held a special purpose Lotto draw on 5 March to help raise funds for the Government’s earthquake appeal fund. A total of $8,248,300 was raised in the draw, in which 50% of sales from Lotto, Strike and Powerball was donated to the appeal via the Lottery Grants Board. 

9 April 2011
Powerball reached its second-ever $30 Million 'Must Be Won' jackpot and due to increased sales, the jackpot actually climbed to $35 million. There were two winners of Lotto Powerball First Division, who shared a record prize of $35,224,854.

12 September 2011
The Big Wednesday game is relaunched to include new luxury prizes – including a Lamborghini – and all the non-cash prizes are now available from the first week.  As part of the changes, players now have an extra five numbers to choose from, as the winning Big Wednesday numbers will be drawn from between 1 and 50.

13 September 2011
Lotto New Zealand celebrates the milestone of reaching $3 billion in funding transferred to the NZ Lottery Grants Board for the benefit of the New Zealand community.

11 October 2011
Lotto enters a new digital era with the roll-out of LCD promotional screens to almost 600 stores around the country – the biggest roll-out of its kind in New Zealand.

22 October 2011
Twenty-two year old Sam Flipp from Manawatu won $1 million on Lotto’s Winning Wheel making him the first $1 million spinner in more than two years.

31 March 2012
A $26 million Lotto Powerball First Division prize is won by a ticket sold in the small town of Te Kauwhata. The prize is the third largest lottery prize won by a single ticket in Lotto New Zealand's history. The winner, Trevor, becomes New Zealand's most eligible bachelor!

12 September 2012
Second-biggest Big Wednesday prize of $27 million sold at AJ's Lotto in Tauranga, to young man who bought ticket when getting his hair cut there.

26 January 2013
Biggest prize won on Lotto New Zealand's online channel, MyLotto.co.nz, by family from Hokitika - a $15,769,230 Lotto Powerball prize.

29 May 2013
The first Big Wednesday draw broadcast from TVNZ in Auckland airs on TV1.

28 September 2013
The largest ever individual Powerball prize of $33 million is won by a Lotto player in West Auckland. 

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