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Lost Lotto tickets worth $10 million

09:00 AEST Sun Dec 30 2012
NZ Lotto

Lotto tickets worth more than $10 million are languishing in punters' drawers or jacket pockets, with the Lotteries Commission warning people to check them or lose out.

Unclaimed prizes for the past financial year totalled $10,599,557, with the six largest being Winning Wheel rewards worth a minimum $100,000, Fairfax Media reported.

Powerball-winning tickets worth $74,390 and $67,762 from November draws are also waiting to be claimed.

Commission spokeswoman Karen Jones warned punters that tickets came with an expiry date.

"Customers have 12 months from the date of the draw in which their ticket wins to claim their prize. After 12 months, all unclaimed prizes are returned to the Prize Reserve Fund."

The fund is used for special prizes from time to time.

In the final draw for the year on Saturday night, a Waiheke Island ticket holder scooped the $1 million first division, with the ticket sold at Ostend Store.

A Kapiti person will also start the new year with a bang after winning the Strike Four prize of $779,072. The ticket was bought at Coastlands Lotto in Paraparaumu.

Powerball was not struck and has jackpotted to $10 million for next week's first draw of 2013.

Butch, a retired widower from Waiuku, won $200,000 on the Winning Wheel. That event featured a little less bling after Lotto suspended the use of the glitter cannon, which gave last week's winner such a fright she tumbled off the set. Janice, a retired widow from Whangarei, was checked by a doctor and returned home a little bruised but $200,000 richer.

Meanwhile, the big winners of 2012 were Trev from Te Kauwhata, who banked $26.6 million in March and an unnamed Tauranga man who scooped $27 million in September.