Watch: Lucrative computer game Minecraft helping put 20-year-old through university

A young Auckland man who builds and sells Minecraft maps part-time for a living is putting himself through university thanks to his hobby-turned-job.

Seven Sharp reported Minecraft is kind of like digital Lego.

Twenty-year-old Jason King told the programme he makes about $25,000 to $35,000 a year, for about 12 to 13 hours work a week, building and selling Minecraft maps. 

He's part of a team and his secret weapon is speed, Jason saying he's one of the fastest in the world at creating one particular digital building.

Creating buildings on the web has led Jason to study architecture.

"I'm paying my way through university with Minecraft," he said.

The only problem with higher education is that any architecture degree will have to compete with full-time Minecraft money.

"Potentially you could make a hundred, two hundred k or more a year," Jason said. 

Right now dreaming big and working hard means a trip to LA and Minecon, a massive convention of Minecraft devotees. 

"Pretty much a business trip, with a bit of advertising in between as well," Jason said.

Minecraft is like lego for the web, you can build buildings, countries and whole worlds. Source: Seven Sharp



Most read: Are you holding the winning $7.2m Powerball ticket bought in Auckland?

This story was first published on Monday September 17.

Lotto Powerball (file picture).
Lotto Powerball (file picture). Source: Lotto

Lotto is on the lookout for a $7.2 million Powerball winner who still hasn't claimed their prize five days after last Wednesday's draw when a ticket bought in the north Auckland suburb of Silverdale struck the jackpot.

The winning ticket was bought at Pak'nSave Silverdale and Lotto is urging anyone who bought their ticket from that supermarket recently to check their tickets.

While the majority of Powerball winners are quick to claim their winnings, it's possible that New Zealand's latest multi-millionaire has no idea they've hit the jackpot, said Kirsten Robinson, Head of Corporate Communications at Lotto NZ.

"That's why we're encouraging anyone who bought their ticket from Pak'nSave Silverdale recently to do a bit of spring cleaning - clear those wallets, clean out your kitchen drawers and rummage through the glovebox. You never know, that little yellow piece of paper tucked away somewhere special, could be worth $7.2 million," she said.

The winner has 12 months from the date of the draw to claim their prize.

While most winning Lotto tickets are found tucked in wallets, they've also been known to show up in weird and wonderful places - including underwear drawers, backpacks, in the desk at work, hidden in the car, and even tucked inside phone cases, Ms Robinson said.

Last year a Warkworth man discovered he was $19.1 million better off after checking a Powerball ticket he had stashed in his car.

In April 2013, a Christchurch man found a Lotto ticket worth $666,666 in his "odds and ends" drawer.

Anyone who bought their Powerball ticket from Pak'nSave Silverdale for the 12 September 2018 Lotto draw should write their name on the back of the ticket and check it immediately at any Lotto outlet, online at mylotto.co.nz or through the Lotto NZ ticket-checker app.

Big winners can also call the Lotto New Zealand helpdesk on 0800 695 6886 for information on how to claim their prize.

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Photo Gallery: Winter has final sting in its tail, blasts Queenstown region with snow

Central Otago woke up to an early spring snow dump this morning, with the white stuff visible across the Wakatipu Basin.

Glenorchy has seen heavy snow, while flurries are light in Queenstown and on the Lindis Pass.

Queenstown. Source: Thomas Martin

Vision captured by 1 NEWS in Arrowtown shows a heavy blanket of snow. 

Arrowtown saw an early spring snowfall overnight, 17 September 2018. Source: Sophia Purdon

Nineteen flights, both domestic and international, have been cancelled at Queenstown Airport, although it remains open. 

Source: James Penwell

All schools in the Wakatipu Basin are closed. 

Crown Range Source: NZTA

Power outages caused by snow-loaded tree branches have been reported in Glenorchy, Te Anau, Queenstown, Franktown, Arrowtown and Dalefield.

Arrowtown. Source: Jesse Van Grinsven

"Power will be restored as quickly as is safely possible but extreme conditions are hampering our response," an Aurora Energy spokesperson said.

Bridesdale Queenstown. Source: Kate Tonks

A spokesperson from Metservice has told 1 NEWS of heavy snow fall in the Crown Ranges, with many campervans being snowed in.

Camper vans in Te Anau. Source: MetService

Arrowtown. Source: Jess Van Grinsven

Cardrona Ski Field has had 35 centimetres of snow this morning and counting. However, graders have been unable to clear the road in time for opening today. 

Usually snow is a good thing for a ski field, but it couldn’t clear the roads fast enough to open this morning. Source: 1 NEWS

An early spring dump of snow fell on Te Anau overnight, 17 September 2018. Source: Alana Pullar

"Where the snow hasn't fallen, water has. A lot of it," the Queenstown Lakes District Council warned this morning.

"We've got roads affected by surface water from all the rain so watch out for flooding and ponding wherever you're headed today."

Te Anau. Source: Phillip Robertson

Trust Power is reporting an outage in Frankton as a result of the weather. 

Arrowtown saw an early spring snowfall overnight, 17 September 2018. Source: Sophia Purdon

Motorists heading over the Crown Range today will need to bring chains with them.

Images from viewers also show thick coats of snow in Arrowtown and Te Anau.

Snow on the Crown Range. Source: NZTA

SH94 from Te Anau to Milford Sound is closed due to a high avalanche risk. 

The road will be closed for some time due to snow and fallen trees.

Arrowtown saw an early spring snowfall overnight, 17 September 2018. Source: Sophia Purdon

Do you have a photo or video of today's snow? Send it to news@tvnz.co.nz.

In many places power was cut, schools were closed and flights cancelled. Source: 1 NEWS

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Teen, 16, handcuffed in back of cop car allegedly steals it when officers leave him in vehicle at Auckland Airport

A teenager has allegedly stolen a police car that he was handcuffed in the back of at Auckland Airport this morning.

Police say they were assisting Oranga Tamariki in the transport of a 16-year-old male on a flight from Auckland bound for Wellington when the incident occurred.

The teenager was handcuffed in the back of a marked police vehicle at Auckland Airport police station when he allegedly managed to get into the driver's seat and took off while police were out of the vehicle.

Police say he then drove through a closed roller door and fled the scene.

The vehicle was followed overhead by a police Eagle helicopter, and was located by police abandoned outside an address in Randwick Park.

Police surrounded the address around 11am and the teenager was apprehended and taken into custody.

He will be appearing in the Youth Court this afternoon on charges of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, dangerous driving and escaping custody.

Police cannot rule out further charges.

Counties Manukau District Commander Superintendent Jill Rogers, says this was a serious incident and will be carrying out a review to establish the full circumstances around how this occurred.

"Thankfully no one was injured during this incident.  An internal review will be carried out to ensure the officers followed best practice and to see what, if any learnings we can take from this incident."

The matter will be referred to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS


Foreign buyer ban to impact Kiwi house prices and squeeze more Kiwis out of apartment market - Westpac economist

The Government's upcoming foreign buyer ban will "clearly" impact Auckland and Queenstown house prices and may squeeze locals out of the apartment market, a Westpac economist says.

The bank's chief economist Dominick Stephens told the NZ Herald today that the market may react in a similar way to Toronto, Canada, when a stamp duty on foreign buyers was introduced.

"Toronto house prices fell around 5 per cent soon afterward," Mr Stephens said.

However, he believes that prices in Auckland and Queenstown are unlikely to fall as much as those in Toronto due to the "watered down" nature of New Zealand's foreign buyer ban.

The main reason for this is that the ban still allows Singaporeans and Australians to buy Kiwi homes and other nationalities can buy 60 per cent of apartments available in complexes with 20 units or more.

Mr Stephens told the NZ Herald this may lead to more foreign buyers in the apartment market, effectively squeezing Kiwis out.

We discuss how changes to foreign buyers legislation will impact homebuyers. Source: 1 NEWS

The economist says the areas that would feel most impact from the ban will be the North Shore, Central City, Howick and Henderson, Massey districts in Auckland and the Queenstown Lakes District.

"These are the places in which foreign buyers account for more than 5 per cent of sales at present."

In terms of the overall market, Westpac thinks house prices will decline at a modest rate in New Zealand over the next few years.

"This is because the New Zealand housing market faces a menagerie of negative forces, including tax changes, slowing population growth and the foreign buyer ban," Mr Stephens said. 

Phil Twyford says the new legislation will not affect genuine migrants, and is designed to dampen speculation when the housing market picks up again. Source: Breakfast