Ithuba, operator of South Africa’s national lottery, was thrilled to pay out a whopping R25 million prize to a pensioner who hit the jackpot on the Powerball Plus draw recently. The 69 year old winner, who has decided not to release her name for privacy reasons, revealed that she and her husband have been religiously buying lottery tickets for 16 years. She paid R22.40 for her winning ticket and said that in her entire lottery purchasing history, she had never paid more than R30 for a ticket.
Speaking to the press, the woman from Johannesburg said that she was “still a bit overwhelmed” by the fact that she is suddenly R25.7 million richer and that she had “eventually struck the jackpot.”
The winner told Netwerk24 that she has a standing habit of having her lottery ticket checked before she purchases a new one. She recalled that last Friday, she headed to Pick ‘n Pay supermarket and purchased her ticket as she usually does.
“The woman behind the counter’s eyes got bigger and bigger and all she said when I asked her what was wrong was that I’d won big,” she said.
The standing procedure for a win that big is to tell the winner to contact the National Lottery, as the pensioner was. After calling Ithuba and then heading to the office to claim her prize, it finally struck the winner just how life-changing her Powerball Plus Lotto prize really was.
“I just cried, because I didn’t know what else to do,” she said.
Ithuba explained what happens when it is discovered that a prize is over R50,000. First of all, the operator receives a message about the win. The winner then needs to head to any lotto office in order to have the ticket verified. The shop is allowed to pay out the jackpot if it is R2,000 or less, while a win of between R2,000 and R50,000 can be paid out by any branch of the post office.
Coming into such an enormous amount of money in literally an instant is a highly emotional experience for winners, and it is for that reason that Ithuba offers counseling. For more practical reasons, the lottery operator also provides financial assistance, such as advice about investments.
The Ithuba spokesperson congratulated the winner and said that pensioner had “dreamt of the day the Lottery would change her life.” Click here for Lotto & LottoPlus Results | Click here for Powerball & PowerballPlus Results