Play 3 FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions relating to New Zealand’s Play 3 lottery game.

Want to know how to play Play 3, or why there is no jackpot? We’ll answer these questions and more. Click on each questionto reveal its answer.

How do I play Play 3?

To start with, choose a three-digit number - the digits don't have to all be different, but it can affect your ticket price and your chances of winning if two are the same. You must then choose a play type, which again will affect the price and the odds of a win.

$1 for a single play type.

$2 for two play types on a Multi-play ticket.

$3 for all three play types on a Multi-play ticket.

$3 for a '3-way' Combo ticket.

$6 for a '6-way' Combo ticket.

Every day at 06:00 p.m.

You can Autopick your three-digit number, but remember if two digits are the same, this might affect what you can win and how much your ticket costs.

Yes - simply choose how many draws you want to enter when you buy your ticket. If you want to be certain of getting your same three-digit number, it's sensible to buy tickets in advance, as if the total prizes that would be paid out on any one winning result reach $1 million, no more wagers will be accepted on that number.

Play 3's top prize is fixed at $500, so instead of sharing a jackpot, all first-tier winners get the same amount no matter how many winning tickets there are. To make sure there are not too many winners for the prize fund to pay out, there is a limit of $1 million in prizes on any specific three-digit number - once this is reached, the system automatically refuses to accept further wagers on that particular number.

Some Play 3 prizes are based on matching the three-digit number in any order. But if two of the digits are the same, there are fewer possible combinations. For example, the digits '123' can be placed in six possible combinations, or permutations, (6-way), but the digits '122' can only be written in three possible combinations (3-way).

These are the possible combinations for ‘123’ played as a 6-way: 123, 132, 213, 231, 312, 321.

These are the possible combinations for ‘122’ played as 3-way: 122, 212, 221.

A Combo ticket places every combination of your chosen 3 digits, so for example, the number '123' would be played as: 123, 132, 213, 231, 312, 321. The number '122' would be played as: 122, 212, 221. You pay a normal ticket price of $1 per combination, so a 3-way number costs $3 and a 6-way number costs $6.

Prizes range from $17 for a 'Pairs' win to $500 for an 'Exact Order' win.

All Lotto New Zealand games allow 12 months for prizes to be claimed, after which the winnings are forfeited and returned to the prize pool.

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