Winning Lotto

Winning Lotto


Imagine winning lotto – something most of us do when we purchase that luckiest of tickets allowing us to drift into a pipe dream and consider what we would do if we actually did win! The extended overseas trip, no wait for the new car, a boat, a new house, early retirement, helping out family and friends, donating to charity…the list goes on. Then reality sinks in when we check that lucky ticket through the lotto machine, online or by the old school method of manually circling the numbers. For most of us the answer is the same, “Better luck next time”. Even if luck is on our side, it’s usually in the form of a bonus ticket or just enough to buy a few more lotto tickets. But you have to be in to win right? True. And someone has to win big right? Ah well yes, but will it be you?

What are the actual chances of winning lotto? You can find this information on the NZ Lotto website by going to For each line of numbers there is 1 in 3,838,380 chance of winning the first division prize. If you buy a standard $7 ten line lucky dip, the chances of winning improve ten times to 1 in 383,838. That’s not too bad is it? Well, it would be like picking just one person out of the combined population of Hamilton and Tauranga so the odds are pretty slim. Let’s put it another way. If you buy a $7 lucky dip every Wednesday and Saturday it’s likely to take you on average 3,691 years to win first division. Let’s face it, you probably won’t see that day. Multiply the above odds by ten to win power ball with a $15 power dip! At this point, you’re probably feeling a little deflated though the optimists amongst us will still say “but someone has to win”.

There is another way of achieving the hallowed heights of a first division win without waiting 3,691 years or longer and where the odds are much better. It’s called regular saving. Now, putting away $14 a week into a regular savings plan won’t make you a millionaire, but saving $156 per week over 40 years could grow to more than $1m*. And two thirds of that amount would be due to the magic of compounding investment returns. If saving $156 each week is a bridge too far, a more modest $55 a week is likely to accumulate to more than $350,000*. What’s the relevance of that number?  It’s the average lotto first division prize pay-out.


Investing $55 per week Investing $156 per week


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*assumes an after tax and after fees return of 5% per annum. Numbers do not allow for inflation and are for illustrative purposes only. Actual returns experienced by investors will vary depending on a number of factors including variations to asset allocation, exchange rates and transaction costs. Past returns do not tell you how investment strategies will perform in the future. Calculations and graphs provided by