It’s been almost a month exactly since a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand’s south island near the town of Kaikoura. It was a catastrophic event as the initial quake and ensuing aftershocks left two dead and countless more homeless or stranded.
Amidst the devastation, New Zealand’s leaders invoked a special rule in legislation that allowed them to hold a special lottery drawing to raise relief funds. As a result, Lotto NZ and the NZ Lottery Grants Board were able to raise $2.7 million to help the communities effected by the earthquake on November 14, 2016.
Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne was especially appreciative of the generosity shown by the nation as he gave thanks to everyone who participated in the special Powerball lottery drawing on Saturday. The money will be used to help aid the victims of the quake and rebuild neighborhoods throughout the Kaikoura/Hurunui and Marlborough regions of New Zealand.
“Christmas is a time of giving, and it was encouraging to see so many New Zealanders support this draw for a truly special cause,” said Mr Dunne over the weekend.
“I want to thank Lotto NZ and the NZ Lottery Grants Board for enabling this to happen and, of course the people from all around New Zealand who expressed so much generosity and community spirit in the face of this adversity”, he continued.
Mr Dunne went on to explain how he was able to invoke the special lottery drawing, based on a specific law pertaining to lotteries and community welfare.
“As Minister of Internal Affairs I directed Lotto NZ to hold a special draw under section 245 of the Gambling Act 2003. This special draw fits with the core purpose of Lotto, which is to raise money for the community,” he said.
Section 245 deals with “Special purpose lotteries”, and states:
(1) The Minister may, from time to time, instruct the Lotteries Commission to promote a New Zealand lottery for any community purpose that the Minister thinks fit.
In closing, Mr. Dunne added, “Everyone appreciates the enormity of the job ahead for those impacted by this 7.8 magnitude quake, and I am very pleased that this contribution will make a real difference to those affected and their communities.”
While a percentage of the money raised in the weekend’s special NZ Lotto draw will inevitably be paid out to all of the game’s winners, the $2.7 million in profits will go directly to the relief fund. The NZ Lottery Grants Board will take control of the funds, and will be responsible for administering and distributing the money to areas impacted by the devastating earthquake.
$10m Winner Yet To Come Forward
As I mentioned, there were many winners in the special Powerball lottery drawing. According to Wayne Pickup, Chief Executive of Lotto NZ, about 60,000 players won a prize of some size. The big question is, who is holding the winning $10 million Powerball ticket?
Reports indicate the winning lottery ticket was purchased over the internet by someone from Auckland. If you fit that description, make sure to check your numbers!
Like Dunne, Pickup was equally enchanted by the level of generosity shown this holiday season as hundreds of thousands of tickets were purchased for the Saturday night lottery drawing.
“Caring about our communities and each other is part of the Kiwi way of life and it was heart-warming to see Lotto players really embrace this special draw to help the people of Kaikoura,” he said.