The odd sequence created at least 20 new millionaires who will each share R5.6m from the original jackpot of what was an estimated R113m.
Johannesburg – A nervously excited Johannesburg pensioner was the first of the 20 people who struck gold to claim their R5.6m Powerball win at the offices of lottery operators Ithuba in Sandton on Wednesday.
In the strangest Powerball lottery draw, Tuesday night’s winning Powerball numbers were 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and the Powerball number was also 10.
The never seen before sequence led to mass hysteria from members of the public who questioned the results and alleged that the winning draw was rigged.
But at the same time, the odd sequence created at least 20 new millionaires who will each share R5.6m from the original jackpot of what was an estimated R113m.
The Ithuba Lottery says all 20 winners of the jackpot selected their winning numbers manually and did not make use of the quick pick.
Ithuba Lottery spokesperson Busisiwe Msizi said the first person to claim their winning jackpot was a married pensioner from the West Rand in Johannesburg, who arrived early on Wednesday morning with his son-in-law to claim his win.
Two other people who are known to the lottery operator, played via their FNB and ABSA banking apps.
“One person has already come forward at the Sandton office to claim their prize. He is a married pensioner with three adult children.
“What I found interesting was that they told us that they have been playing these same numbers for six years.
“Lots of people play these simple basic combinations and it just so happened that 20 people selected these numbers manually, no quickpick, and last night was their turn of luck,” said Msizi.
Speaking of the pensioner, Msizi said he was excited but nervous when he turned up at the lottery operator’s Sandton offices earlier this morning.
“He came with son-in-law, he was very nervous. He was as excited as he was nervous. He only wagered a R15 ticket at Westgate to get his win,” she said.
“All of our winners over R50 000 are offered trauma counselling because it is a traumatizing experience. One minute you have no money and the next minute you have R5m.
“We also provide winners with financial advice and they choose their institutions they want to work with,” she said.
Meanwhile, Msizi said the lottery was not rigged and said there was no human interaction with the machine.
She said the Ithuba Lottery, like other lotto operators in the world, had moved away from the ball machines and was now conducting digital draws which used the random number generator.
She said there were backup systems in place to ensure the integrity of the operation and the results were independently audited.