South Africa’s Biggest Ever Jackpot Winners

For many South Africans, winning the PowerBall or the Lotto is nothing but a pipe dream. Buying a ticket before every draw is a little bit of fun, and an opportunity to dream about what a richer life might entail. You do, though, have to be “in it to win it” – and for a handful of players, this has really paid off when their dream of hitting the big jackpot did come true.

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The long-term realities of a big win can take time to set in, but for many, luxury getaways, a house and a nicer car are often the first purchases to be made.

But who are South Africa’s largest ever PowerBall and Lotto winners – and how much did they win? This blog post will go back a little in time to look at the lives and details of those who struck it big.

R232m in Cape Town

No list of amazing wins on the PowerBall would be quite complete without looking at the big win that came last year for a lucky resident of Cape Town. The winner, who has never been named, struck gold and secured R232m when the relevant PowerBall results came out in February.

It took the lucky winner a week to reveal himself to the authorities – although he never gave his full identity. All we know is that he was male and was from Cape Town – and that, refreshingly, he had chosen to carry on working despite the fact that he had just secured one of the biggest wins in history. According to one press article, he intends to spend some of his winnings on his kids’ schooling.

R102m in Bloemfontein

Moving slightly further down the spectrum of winnings and closer to the R100m mark, one lucky winner in Bloemfontein secured a jackpot of just over that important threshold, back in 2011. As was the case in the later Cape Town story, this man also chose to remain anonymous – which, given the media interest in the victory, was probably a smart move.

The media interest was due in part to a nail-biting story that was later shared about the ticket itself. The victor, who at this stage had no idea of his big win, headed down to a store in June 2011 to ask for his ticket’s numbers to be run through the machine on the off-chance that it might bring him a prize. It apparently took several goes for the staff member to check the ticket, during which the winner almost gave up and threw it away – before finally discovering that he’d won big.

R110m in Cape Town

In terms of the Lotto, meanwhile, the draw back in January 2018 was one of the most lucrative in recent times. Each of the lucky four winners took home a quarter of this big jackpot, which had accumulated over a process of several months, thanks to a long-running period of nobody winning.

In an interesting twist, however, one of the four very nearly failed to turn up to claim his prize. The man did arrive at the lottery headquarters a day or so prior to the validity of the ticket expiring, although no explanation was ever given as to why he did this.

R58m in Cape Town

 Cape Town must be a lucky city. With so many of the big anonymous wins being tracked back to the capital of the Western Cape, it’s no doubt the case that plenty of wannabe winners are playing PowerBall and Lotto there today. Even some of the smaller Lotto jackpot winners in recent years have also been based in the Cape Town region.

That was the case for the winner who scooped the R58m Lotto prize back in 2018. The winner, who this time was a lady, secured the victory around the time of Mother’s Day – so she certainly had plenty to raise a glass to that year. She was, like many players, tempted to play simply because she had seen the advertised opportunities to secure an unusually large jackpot. Overall, her plan was to retire before she had originally planned to – and intended to remain in the workforce for just another six months before bowing out for good.

Ultimately, South Africa’s biggest jackpot winners have all seen their lives transformed by netting a huge win in one of these draws. Whether they won R232m or less, their lives were changed forever by the random chance of their lucky numbers coming up. And in that lies a lesson for everyone who wants to win big too: it’s only by buying a ticket that you can be in with a chance of scoring big.