How to Play the Lottery
There are various ways to take part in lotteries in South Africa, regardless of the game you are playing. Find out how to play the lottery, including step-by-step instructions for buying tickets in-store and online, plus details of the alternative platforms that are available.
How to Play Online
You can also enter SA lottery games over the internet. Follow the steps below to play online:
- Set up an online lottery account.
- Make a deposit so you can pay for tickets.
- Choose your numbers on each board you want to play or opt for a Quick Pick to receive random numbers.
- Select how many draws you would like to enter.
- Confirm your choices and pay for your entries.
Your entry will be stored safely in your online account and your numbers will be checked automatically. There is no chance of missing out on a prize as you will be notified if you are a winner and prizes will be paid into your account. For larger prizes such as jackpots you may be contacted so the claim can be verified.
How to Play In-Store
You can play by visiting any National Lottery retailer and buying tickets. To play in a store, follow these steps:
- Go to any lottery store and pick up a betslip.
- Mark your numbers on each board you want to play. Alternatively, you can mark the Quick Pick option on each board to receive a random selection of numbers.
- Select the number of consecutive draws you wish to enter. Leave blank to play a single draw.
- If you would like to enter any supplementary games, such as Lotto Plus, mark the relevant box on the betslip.
- Pay the cashier for your entries and keep your ticket safe.
You have to buy tickets before the sales cut-off time, otherwise you will have to wait until the next draw. Sales for Lotto, Daily Lotto and PowerBall all stop at 20:30 on the draw day of the respective game – see the Lottery Draw Times page for more information.
Once you have bought your ticket in-store, you need to write your name, ID number and address on the back of it in case you need to claim a prize. You will not be eligible to receive your winnings if you lose your entry before adding these details.
Other Ways to Play SA Lotteries
As well as playing in-store or via lottery websites, there are other options for how to enter the lottery. If you play via any of these methods, visit the How to Claim Prizes page to find out how the winnings will be paid.
Banking Websites and Apps
Several of South Africa’s major banks – First National Bank (FNB), Nedbank and Standard Bank – have partnered with the National Lottery to give you the chance to play games through their websites and smartphone apps. You have to be a member of the bank to take part via this method – here’s how you can play:
- Log in to your online bank account.
- Select ‘Buy’, followed by the game of your choice from the subtab.
- Select ‘Play now’ to choose your own numbers, or select a Quick Pick.
- If you’re choosing your numbers, select the numbers you want to play on the board(s) presented, then select ‘Done’.
- Hit the ‘Buy’ button and then ‘Confirm’.
FNB also allows you to pay using eBucks, which you can earn if you are a customer of the bank and you shop with certain partners.
- Sign in to your online bank account.
- Select the 'Lotto' menu.
- Choose 'Purchase Lotto'.
- Choose the game you want to play.
- On the next screen there are several options, including how many boards to play and how many draws to enter. Once you have made your choices, select 'Make purchase'.
- Check that all of the information is correct, then select 'Confirm purchases'.
You can choose your numbers for the next Lotto or PowerBall draw and you can use numbers that you have played in the past. Tickets can be purchased through the Nedbank website between 06:00 and 22:30 from Monday to Saturday and between 06:00 and 17:30 on Sunday.
Standard Bank App
- Sign in to your bank account using your pin code.
- Select the ‘More’ option from the menu.
- Select ‘Play Lotto’.
- Choose to play Lotto or PowerBall.
- Select which account you want to use to buy tickets.
- Add a supplementary game if you wish.
- Select ‘How many boards would you like to play?’ and make a choice.
- Select ‘How many draws would you like to play’ and choose the number of draws.
- Confirm the details and accept the terms and conditions.
If you are an Android user you will only have the option of playing a Quick Pick, so you will not be able to choose your own numbers.
You can also play directly at an ATM, entering the lottery as easily as you withdraw cash. However, you do have to be a customer of the bank to be able to play this way. The steps below show how you can play from an FNB ATM:
- Insert your bank card and enter your PIN.
- Select 'More Options', then 'Prepaid/Lotto'.
- Select 'Lotto/PowerBall'.
- Decide which game to play and proceed. There is only a Quick Pick option so you can’t choose your own numbers.
- Select how many boards to play.
- Confirm the account you wish to use to pay for your entries, then take your receipt.
You can play the game of your choice by using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) on your cellphone. It is available through numerous lottery and banking channels, and effectively allows you to play from your phone without even needing to download an app or have access to the internet. Here’s what to do:
- Dial your bank’s USSD number on your cellphone. The numbers are:
- Follow the on-screen instructions to pick your game.
- Choose your numbers. There may be an option to play a past selection, select a Quick Pick or choose your own.
- Pick how many boards you want to play.
- Decide the number of draws you want to enter in advance.
- Confirm your purchase.
The advantage of USSD is that you can play from anywhere and do not even require the internet, but you are required to have a funded account from which to buy your entries. You must therefore be registered with a specific bank or lottery-affiliated platform.
A2PAY and RA Cellular
A2PAY and RA Cellular platforms sell a variety of prepaid products, ranging from airtime and data bundles to electricity and even bus tickets. They are primarily used by smaller retailers in rural areas to help customers who would otherwise have to travel long distances for basic services.
You can buy tickets for the National Lottery Raffle from local retailers who have been trained up on these platforms. To enter this way, you just need to visit an A2PAY or RA Cellular retail outlet and request a ticket.
Tickets for the 2020 National Lottery Raffle are due to go on sale at the end of October. Keep checking the Raffle page to find out when the draw is scheduled to take place.