How to Play Lotto

Lotto was the first game launched by the South African National Lottery and to this day continues to offer jackpots that can reach eight or even nine figures, all while raising money for the good causes supported by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.

Lotto draws take place twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday nights, with players having to match six numbers from 1 to 52 to win the jackpot. A Bonus Ball is drawn from the same pool after the main numbers and can boost prizes when matched with three, four or five main balls.

Lotto jackpots start at around R1 million and, if no one matches all six main balls, will keep rolling over until a draw produces a winner. This rollover feature has resulted in sizeable jackpot values accumulating, including the record total of R110 million, shared by four players on Saturday 27th January 2018.

Division Match Percentage of Prize Pool Odds of Winning
1st 6 73% 1 in 20,358,520
2nd 5 + Bonus Ball 2.3% 1 in 3,393,087
3rd 5 4% 1 in 75,402
4th 4 + Bonus Ball 5% 1 in 30,161
5th 4 8.4% 1 in 1,371
6th 3 + Bonus Ball 7.3% 1 in 1,028
7th 3 R50 Fixed 1 in 72
8th 2 + Bonus Ball R20 Fixed% 1 in 96

The overall odds of winning a Lotto prize are 1 in 38. Prizes start at R20 for matching two main numbers and the Bonus Ball and increase in value as players match more numbers. South African lottery players have 365 days after the relevant draw in which to claim prizes.


Playing Lotto Online

Players who are resident overseas or unable to visit an authorised retailer can play Lotto via an online lottery concierge service. Your tickets are bought on your behalf by locally based agents, who will scan the slip and upload it to your player account.

Non-jackpot prizes are paid into your account and the customer services team will contact you to guide you through the process of claiming jackpots. Visit the Buy Tickets page to take part in South African lotteries and join in with some of the world’s biggest jackpot games.

Playing at a Local Retailer

Lotto tickets are widely available from a network of authorised retailers. To play Lotto, simply select six numbers between 1 and 52 and mark them on a playslip. Alternatively, you can choose the Quick Pick option where six numbers are randomly selected by the terminal. Choose which draws you wish to play – Wednesday, Saturday or both – and the number of weeks you wish to play and then hand the completed slip to the retailer. You will receive a copy of your ticket showing your chosen numbers and the draws you have entered.

To give your numbers another chance to win prizes, tick the Lotto Plus 1 option and they will be entered into a supplementary draw. If you opt to play Lotto Plus 1, you can also enter your numbers into Lotto 2 for an extra chance to win. Each additional draw is priced at R2.50 per line. See the Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2 pages to find out more information about each game.