Biggest Lottery Winners
South Africa’s biggest lottery winners have claimed prizes worth hundreds of millions of rand, instantly becoming rich enough to fulfil their dreams. Both Lotto and PowerBall have delivered big winners and here you can find out more about the lucky players who have won the top prizes from each lottery.
Here are the top five jackpots to have ever been awarded in PowerBall, along with details of the winners.
A record-breaking PowerBall jackpot came to the boil after virtually a whole summer without a winner, jumping up to R232 million for the draw on 19 February 2019. A single ticket matched all the numbers and the winner came forward to claim their money one week later, opting to stay anonymous.
It was revealed, however, that the ticket belonged to a man in his 50s from Cape Town who worked in a ‘blue collar’ job and had no intention of quitting work. He picked his own numbers and spent just R22.50 on buying his tickets at an OK Mini Mart in Tygerdal. His main focus for the money was to give his children the best education possible.
An engineer from Secunda revealed that he had used his dreams for guidance after winning R145 million. The young man, who did not want his name to be disclosed, had picked the number 4 as his PowerBall, based on the ‘Fafi’ system of dream analysis and associating objects or events with numbers, having dreamt of a fight before he played.
The winner bought his R20 ticket from Evander Dienstasie on 1 Rotter Dam Road, Evander, and decided to keep his ticket in his sock over the weekend until he was ready to claim. He even said that he was too afraid to go outside before he claimed the money in case something happened to him.
The winning PowerBall ticket for the R102 million draw on 3 June 2011 was nearly thrown away after the player asked for it to be checked and the cashier’s scanner failed twice in a row. The winner said it might as well be discarded as it probably wasn’t a lucky ticket, but the cashier finally got the scanner working at the third attempt and a message appeared to say the player needed to visit a lottery office.
The man bought his ticket at the Spitskop Total-fuel station in Langenhovenpark, Bloemfontein and said he wanted to use his money to expand his business.
A 43-year-old woman from the Western Cape was revealed to be the winner of this enormous jackpot. She kept the lucky ticket in her husband’s wallet and they booked into a hotel for a couple of days before claiming the money, not even telling their two teenage children straight away.
They planned to use the money to buy a new home and a car for their eldest child. Another person, deaf-mute cleaner Stanley Philander, had been widely and wrongly reported to be the winner after he contacted the media to claim he was. He did have a ticket with the winning numbers, but lottery operator Gidani clarified that he had bought his ticket after the draw had taken place.
A Limpopo man who for 16 years prayed every time he bought a lottery ticket declared that his R87 million was ‘a gift from God’. A 45-year-old government worker, he said he had no plans to give up his job and would use the money to help others who were in need of assistance.
He insisted that he would not make any big changes to his life, although he was keen to buy a mansion in Gauteng or Mpumalanga.
The biggest PowerBall Plus jackpot was worth R83 million and was won on a single ticket on 23 April 2019. It took almost three months of rollovers to create this record jackpot, as the top prize had previously not been won since 1 February.
Find out about the biggest Lotto jackpots of all time and the winners who claimed the prizes.
There were four winning tickets in the biggest Lotto draw of all time, each worth R27.5 million. It took 21 rollovers to create the R110 million jackpot, with no winners for two and a half months.
One of the lucky winners left it almost a full year to come forward, claiming their prize just a day before it expired. He was described as a 58-year-old from Ravensmead in Cape Town, but did not want any further information to be divulged.
The Cape Town winner of this big jackpot revealed that she wanted to give R2 million to a petrol attendant who had always been polite and helpful.
She also intended to buy a house with a garden for her grandson to play in, and pay for her daughter to quit her job as a call-centre agent so she could fulfil a dream of studying towards a psychology degree.
A woman in her 50s celebrated Mother’s Day in style with a R58 million win. She revealed that she normally only played PowerBall but decided to give Lotto a go because she noticed it was a particularly large jackpot.
She said she would only carry on working for another six months before handing over her responsibilities and taking an early retirement.
Two lucky ticket holders shared this R58 million Lotto jackpot, which stood as the record for the highest prize ever given away on the game for almost five years.
The jackpot was largely created by a special draw a few weeks earlier on 30 March, when the top prize was boosted to a guaranteed R40 million even though it had only been worth R1.2 million the draw before.
The biggest Lotto Plus 1 prize of all time was split between two players, including one grandfather from Pretoria who ran organisations for the elderly and children living with disabilities.
He insisted that he would use his winnings to support his local community, having found it ‘heart-breaking’ that his charity previously did not have enough money to help out everyone as he would have liked.