South Africa Lotto Winner Claims R23 Million After 11 Months
A South Africa Lotto winner has come forward to claim the R23 million jackpot he won last September, after forgetting to check his ticket for almost a year. If he had waited more than 365 days, he would no longer have been eligible to receive his winnings.
The prize dates back to the SA Lotto draw on Wednesday 19th September 2018. There was only one ticket that matched all six winning numbers - 7, 14, 19, 21, 29 and 39 - but there was no word from the winner straight after the draw and as the months passed it began to look as though it would never get claimed.
However, as the clock ticked down to the expiry date and reports began to circulate that the eight-figure win could remain unclaimed, the lucky player finally made contact with National Lottery operator Ithuba. “Great news, less than two months before the ticket expires, the fortunate Lotto jackpot winner of R23,744,139 has finally claimed their prize. Congratulations to the winner,” Ithuba tweeted earlier this week.
It has been revealed that the winner is a man in his 40s, who bought his ticket for R30 at Shell Amberfield, Rooihuiskraal, Centurion. Unravelling the mystery of why it took him so long to claim his winnings, Ithuba explained that he had simply forgotten and the ticket had piled up with others as he was such a regular player.
“He said he usually plays a whole bunch and checks them all every once in a while,” stated a spokesperson for Ithuba, adding that the man would now meet with financial advisors and receive counselling. No more details were disclosed about the winner’s identity or what they planned to do with the money.
Petrol Station Joined The Hunt
Employees of the Shell Amberfield petrol station had also been doing their best to help track down the winner, asking all visiting motorists to check their vehicles and homes for tickets. They also posted notes on their Facebook page, although there was no video footage that could help to find the winner.
“We have been looking for the Lotto winner for weeks now. It wasn’t until I saw the notice on the National Lottery's website, this year, that we thought to get involved,” Denise Weweje, manager of the station, had told Business Insider South Africa just days before the prize was claimed.
If the winner had not claimed their money before 19th September of this year, it would have been transferred to the National Lotteries Distribution Fund (NLDF), and donated to various charitable causes across South Africa. That is exactly what happened to a R28 million PowerBall Plus jackpot when the winner failed to come forward before the deadline on 13th February this year.
Khensani Mabuza, Ithuba’s corporate relations executive, said: “Players who participate in lottery games do so in the hope of winning big. We, therefore, urge all players to check their tickets and submit valid claims to receive their payouts.”
The jackpot currently stands at R11 million ahead of the next draw on Saturday night. You can see the latest results after every draw to find out if you are a winner.