After a delay of several days before coming forward to claim his prize, the Limpopo government employee who won big in the R87 million Powerball draw on Friday last week says he’s not about to make any big changes in his life.
The 45-year-old said that he had prayed when he bought his ticket, as he always did for 16 years. He said he started playing the Lotto regularly in 2000.
He was speaking at a news conference in Johannesburg, but cannot be named for legal reasons.
He actually knew soon after the draw that he had won, but it took him three days to come forward because he wanted to “collect his thoughts”.
His wife had apparently not been pleased at his gambling and did not believe him when he phoned her to tell her about the enormous windfall. He has become the fourth-largest winner in the National Lottery’s history and will be provided with emotional and financial counselling by the lottery operator, Ithuba.
These services are provided “free of charge”, just as an added bit of luck.
He described the win as “a gift from God” and intends to help the needy with his enormous prize, though he will be ensuring his family wants for nothing first.
“I will help others who are in need of assistance. I am going to invest the money so that I will never be poor again‚” he told the gathered journalists.
He said that when he realised he was a winner he “thought I was in another world”.
Lottery winners can often return to destitution within just a few years because of an inability to work smartly with money and a lack of emotional maturity.
However, this winner seems to have a good head on his shoulders. He wants to get rid of his debt and “perhaps buy a mansion somewhere in Gauteng or Mpumalanga”.
It’s not clear what job he does in government, but he has declared that he will keep working … for now.