$A500m gambling tsunami on course to hit New Zealand and Australia

The Melbourne Cup

A gambling tsunami is expected to engulf New Zealand and Australia today as punters on both sides of the Tasman are likely to wager more than $A500 million on a massive lottery as well as the Melbourne Cup.

One in two Australian adults – 7.5 million people – are likely to buy tickets in tonight's record $A100 million OzLotto draw.

Countless New Zealanders will also be buying online, hoping to win what is likely to be the biggest lottery jackpot ever in this part of the world.

The biggest win to date was in 2009 when two punters shared $A106,549,984.76.

However, that draw had only been guaranteed at $A90 million, while today's is guaranteed at $A100 million.

All you have to do to win is to pick any seven numbers between 1 and 45.

Nothing could be simpler, you might think, but the odds are heavily stacked against you, with a one in 45 million chance of winning playing one standard game.

Still, that won't deter millions of dreamers like this writer, who has forked out $A28 for a shot at joining the NBR Rich List.

Then there is the Melbourne Cup.

On this side of the Tasman New Zealanders are expected to bet around $8 million on today's big race.

The TAB says one of the largest bets placed yesterday was for $5000 on Australian horse Ethiopia.

If it wins the lucky punter stands to win $100,000.

Small change compared to the $100 million on offer at the lottery but the odds are much, much better, with a one in 24 chance of selecting the winning horse.

And if you are really feeling lucky you can also place a bet on the outcome of the American presidential election.

InTrade, a betting site, says the probability of an Obama victory is running at 67.5%.

So hang on to your seats folks and hold your breath.

By the end of the day you could be twice as rich as Prime Minister John Key or you could be drowning your sorrows.

The prize of $A100 million equates to $NZ125 million. Invested at 4.25%, it will provide and annual return of $5.3 million, or $102,000 a week.

But for the moment, dream on.  

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