SA Lottery Winners Spend Prizes on NecessitiesContrary 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.”

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