After a year of difficulty and loss, many Kiwis have managed to benefit still from the Powerball and the social grants that have been made possible as a result of the increase in lottery ticket sales. The sale of the tickets is what has increased the jackpot to the whopping $50 million prizes that is currently on offer.
The February Powerball jackpot eventually became a jackpot that many people were vying to win since it had rolled over so many times. The jackpot which was eventually won by several players became the largest prize in the history of New Zealand's Powerball game. New Zealand’s Lotto told the new Minister of Internal affairs that this financial year has been a record-breaking and that the Lotto is looking forward to what next year has in store. As of December, every Lotto and Powerball game has performed far better than the projected budget depicted. Despite all the positive benefits that are derived from these games, the social ills associated with gambling inevitably comes up.
The latest increase in lottery ticket sales poses serious problems for organizations such as the New Zealand Problem Gambling Foundation, which firmly believes that more needs to be done to curb the harms and mitigate the damage that gambling can have on people who are addicted to playing these games. Normally, for a jackpot in any of the lottery games in the country to reach a massive amount, such as the $50 million jackpot, should take several years. However, yet another huge jackpot became available in August when the jackpot once again stood at the $50 million mark which is testament to gambling increase that took place in 2020.
The online app, which has made it easy for players to purchase tickets from the privacy of their homes, has been identified as the biggest contributor to the rapid growth rate. The report added that Lotto sales had managed to double from last year’s 19%, to this year’s impressive 38% for the same period. The MyLotto app sales, which incidentally, has produced a large number of winners during this year, has also increased by a total number of online sales which increased to around $431 million, which is an 89% improvement on last year's sales total.
The platform was more widely used since all the local stores and vendors in New Zealand were closed during the last couple of months as a result of the public health crisis. Every time there is a huge jackpot to be won, the ticket sales increase to larger numbers than before and the August jackpot was no exception to this trend. During the ticket sales for that draw, over 200,000 more people were registering online to try their luck and see if they could maybe be the lucky winner of the enormous prize.
On the flip side of the coin, Andrée Froude, from the Problem Gambling Foundation, said that during tough times many people are so desperate to make ends meet and are struggling financially that they become addicted to the idea of large sums of money and gambling. When the jackpot prize increases to such a significant and life-changing amount, it becomes increasingly difficult for people to prevent themselves from being tempted to play the game and oftentimes end up spending money they could ill-afford to.
Froude said that even though the Lottery is making a more concerted effort to prevent harmful spending and problem gambling, by decreasing the limits, it is still not enough at this stage. According to the organization, more restrictions can be implemented such as minimizing advertisements where gambling is promoted, similar to the steps the United Kingdom Gambling Commission has taken to prevent the excessive promotion of gambling in the UK.