The Biggest Casino Wins in New Zealand History

Despite our fair island’s tiny population, there have been some surprisingly big casino wins in its history. Here are some of the biggest:

Rawiri Pou

In 2016, Rawiri Pou won a whopping $10m playing a slot game online. He was presented with a $10m check at Auckland hotel after winning the Mega Moolah progressive jackpot slots online. At the time of the win, Pou was 27 years old and worked at a Kentucky Fried Chicken. The payday took place on June 17th, when the online casino transferred the winnings into his account. Pou was ecstatic to say the least.

At the time, Pou had no plans of quitting his job at KFC because he didn’t know “what to feel” about the giant winnings. He was in shock. He won the money after originally winning $1500 and then using that money to continue gambling. Pou was happy to tell his parents about the win since they had previously scolded him for his online gambling habits. He could now proudly declare that he was a jackpot winner!

Pou was unsure about how he would use his winnings, but he is certainly living it up these days. If you do a search online, you can find an image of him smiling big with a giant check. He is one lucky Kiwi!

South Auckland Man

In 2016, a South Auckland man, who was not named, won over $180,000 on sports bets. Allegedly, he began with only $12 and turned that money into big winnings. The man bet on five different sporting events over one weekend and has said that the win will be “life changing.” No doubt it was life changing for this man. One big win came from Austria’s Dominic Thiem beating Germany’s Alexander Zverev in the French Open. The man placed just the right amount at just the right time to ensure a big win.

Another big win came from a bet he placed that said Nigel Ah Wong would score two or more points against the Sunwolves. This only came into fruition towards the end of the game so the man was certainly on edge throughout. Lucky for him, the bet really paid off with a big win.

And another big win came when he picked Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid to draw at full time of the Champions League final. Again, the win only came towards the end of the game, but ultimately, it paid off big. Other wins that weekend included bets on the Blues and Crusaders match, New Zealand to beat Fiji in the Oceania Nations Cup, Vixens to beat the Thunderbirds in the Trans-Tasman netball league, a Hull and Sheffield match, Swifts and Firebirds match, and Real Madrid vs Atletico in the Champions Cup final.

Even crazier, according to the man, he left his wallet at home that day so he only had a limited amount of money to bet on these games. Had he brought his wallet he could have won even more money, perhaps another $50,000. Too bad for him. But, he’s not complaining. He still walked away from that weekend with some pretty massive wins. It was a very good weekend for the man and no doubt, he’ll be living well from now on.

Gambling in New Zealand

Gambling is a big industry in New Zealand and much of it is operated and regulated by state-owned institutions. Expenditure on gambling in New Zealand was a little over $NZ 2b in 2008, which is a huge increase from gambling expenditure in 1985 according to data from the New Zealand government.

Slot machines are a major source of gambling revenue in New Zealand and most are placed in bars and hotels. Interestingly, online gambling is growing in the country and today there are a variety of New Zealand companies that operate online gambling sites. In 2008, there around 19,000 slot machines throughout the country, a pretty large number considering the population size of the country. Today, there are six casinos operating in the country and they bring in large revenues for both the companies and the New Zealand government.

In addition to brick-and-mortar casinos, sports betting is quite common in New Zealand including betting on sports like Football and Horse Racing. Many experts expect sports betting to gain even more popularity in the coming years.

Another large portion of gambling in New Zealand involves lotteries. The New Zealand Lotteries Commision was founded in the 1980’s and today operates a variety of lotteries throughout the country. Lottery tickets became available in New Zealand in 2008.