Winning the Lottery: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Since 2000, when the South African National Lottery was introduced with great pump, it has touched the lives of so many people. From the millions of players who find hope in the magic of the game to the lucky ones who have actually gotten to collect a win, the SA Lotto has managed to make a change. In this article, we are going to tell you the most surprising stories about playing the South African lottery that will make you see just how this game can make miracles, as well as stir up incredible commotion.

Some are Really Lucky, Even Twice Lucky

When putting in their tickets, lottery players hope to strike big and win the jackpot. But while only a few of them actually get to see how it feels to hold that big cheque in their hands, even fewer get to experience this twice. But in the South African Lottery, there have been a few cases of double winners over the years.

One lucky player from Limpopo got his first jackpot worth R11 million in 2002, and it changed his life. Fortunately, his passion for the game continued in the years to come, and it finally earned him an even bigger prize in 2009, when he won a whopping R30 million.

In 2017, an engineer from Johannesburg got a very different type of double win. He was so confident that the numbers he had chosen would bring him a prize that he bought not one, but two lottery tickets with the same numbers. It seems that his feeling about those numbers was, in fact, right, because he had two of the four winning tickets for that draw. This earned him a staggering R15.2 million, which was the equivalent of his two winning tickets for the R30.4 million jackpot.

From Rags to Riches…

Located 60 km from Cape Town, Grabouw is known for its thriving agriculture, but now it is also known as the home of one of the South African Lottery’s biggest winners, who scooped a giant prize worth R20 million in 2016.

The Garbouw winner said that he was watching the South African Powerball draw with his family when he found out that he had actually won the lottery. “After living from hand-to-mouth every single month and some months without money, I will finally be able to buy my dream house and provide for my family.”

He always believed that the lottery could be his way out of poverty, which is how he became a regular player. And his dedication was repaid in the best possible way, as he now has the resources to turn his and his family’s biggest dreams into reality.

… and Back to Rags

Unfortunately, not all lottery players are like the man from Garbouw. Batsirai Mupfawi from Zimbabwe was the first ever mega-jackpot winner in the South African Lottery and he scooped a prize worth R14 million.

Batsirai was a chauffeur and one of his major plans was to finish his matric, but this is not how his story continued. It seems that his riches did not last long for him, as he has ended up not only broke, but covered in debt larger than he ever imagined.

Largest South Africa Powerball Jackpot Never Claimed

The largest jackpot in the history of the South African Powerball lottery was worth a staggering R102 million. With such an enormous prize up for grabs on the draw from June 3rd, 2011, the entire country was raving about the game.

The winning numbers for the legendary draw were linked to a ticket from the Free State. Everybody wanted to know who the winner of the R120 million prize was, but, as it turned out, the ticket-holder never came forward to collect the prize.

Limpopo Winner Lost His Lottery Ticket

Johannes Sebothoma from Limpopo though he had got it made when he realized that he had the winning numbers for the grand jackpot in the South African Lottery. But then, disaster stroke and he couldn’t find his ticket.

The days went on and Mr. Sebothoma looked for his ticket everywhere, but it did not turn up. Then, he allegedly found it just two days before the expiration date of the jackpot and hurried in to present it. But to his despair, the officials dubbed his “slightly crushed and discolored ticket” invalid and he never got to collect his winnings.

Harassed by Relatives, but They Did Not Actually Win

Stanley Philander from Cape Town, a deaf South African cleaner, got thrown in the middle of a lotto storm after a newspaper wrote that he had won R91 million in the lottery. He was immediately flooded with requests from relatives and strangers alike, who wanted a part of his enormous lottery prize.

By the time the lottery officials announced that the real winner of the draw was actually a 43-year-old woman, who obviously decided to remain anonymous, Mr. Philander and his family had already been moved to a secret location to keep them safe.

As it turned out, the confusion sprung because Mr. Philander had purchased a lottery ticket with the winning numbers for the R91 million jackpot, but he bought it a few hours after the draw, which meant that the ticket could only be used for the following draw.

Ballito Resident Gets Scammed by her Own Husband

Busisiwe Zazaza won a jackpot worth R5.5 million in the South African Lottery back in 2002, and while she was thrilled for the big win, she went to quite the ordeal afterwards. Soon after her win, she parted with her boyfriend, Bongani Nkwanyana, but this was definitely not the last she heard of him.

Two years later, Ms. Zazaza found out that his boyfriend was claiming that they were in fact married. And he had a marriage certificate to prove their union was made before she ever won the lottery. While she eventually challenged the fake marriage license in court, the process ended up costing her an impressive amount of money.

Moreover, for the entire duration of the official investigation, she was ordered to pay Nkwanyana R3,500 per month for maintenance. Theirs was one of the most controversial lottery stories to ever make into mass media.

These incredible stories should give you an idea of the enormous rollercoaster that playing the South African lottery is. It can make your wildest dreams come true or it can stir up unimaginable scandals, but this game will always make things brilliantly entertaining.


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