Contrary to popular belief, the majority of lottery winners don’t go off and splurge on giant yachts and hedonistic lifestyles. Not South African lottery winners, anyway. According to a new study commissioned by the National Lotteries Commission, most lottery prize winners spend their winnings on what we consider necessities – housing, vehicles and education.
The study, which was conducted by Unisa’s Bureau for Market Research, showed that a vast majority of those who bought lottery tickets in South Africa (74.3%) did so as they needed money. A large proportion of South African lottery players are among the least affluent on the country’s socio-economic scale, and nearly 28% are unemployed.
Among those who play the lottery, 23.9% receive government assistance and 42.2% earn less than R5,000 a month.
Around a quarter of players will traditionally spend anything between R21 and R50 per month on their lottery tickets, while a third upped that amount to about R150 per month.
A Capetonian who won a staggering R61 million in a lottery draw last month is a case in point. The man spent just R20 on his ticket to nab the giant jackpot. He said that he had previously won R75,000 in a lottery jackpot, which he used to build a roof over his family’s head. This time around, he wants to build a bigger house so that his three children can have their own bedrooms.
“I had not been working for the past five years, until I got a contract job early this year,” said the winner, who prefers to remain anonymous. “Although this job is difficult and demands excessive physical strength, I was grateful to be able to help put food on the table for my family.”
Another 40s-something couple from Centurion won R23.7 million in a recent lottery draw and immediately said that they would use their windfall to empower their children.
The government employees – who don’t intend giving up their jobs despite their win – said: “This will open many doors for us. It will give us freedom that we black people never had. Yes, we have been free since 1994 politically, but not financially.”