Chisom Jenniffer Okoye
5 minute read
3 Mar 2020
4:08 pm

With R100m in PowerBall prizes on the line tonight, these are SA’s ‘luckiest places’

Chisom Jenniffer Okoye

Statistically, if you want to be one of the big winners, it apparently helps to live in Gauteng. We aren't all that sure why either.

Lotto balls. Picture: Stock

The PowerBall jackpot on Tuesday night will be about R42 million, with PowerBall Plus at R58 million.

Are you feeling lucky? The stats suggest that if you live in Gauteng, you’re in the “luckiest province” for lottery results.

The National Lottery 2019 statistics revealed that between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019, 11,555 of country’s 12,109 winners came from Gauteng alone. Lagging severely behind was the Western Cape with only 149 winners, KwaZulu-Natal with 120 winners, Mpumalanga with 68 winners and North West with 61 winners.

Also revealed in the statistics was that Johannesburg was the luckiest municipality in the country in 2019 with a dominating figure of 7,614 winners. Behind it was the Sandton metropolitan area with 3,726 winners and Pretoria with 60 winners. Gauteng also leads the pack when it comes to Lotto millionaires, with more than 300 new millionaires created in 2019.

While The Citizen attempted to push for theories or assumptions on how one province could grab almost all the wins, Ithuba Lottery Product Public Relations Manager Neo Merafi said the game was purely based on luck.

He shared that, per entry, there was a 1 in 20,358,500 chance of winning the Lotto and Lotto Plus jackpot and a 1 in 42,375,200 chance of winning the PowerBall or PowerBall Plus.

Ithuba shared that the latest winner of one of the biggest jackpots to date was also from Gauteng, having walked away with R114 million this February.

The winner of the 19-time rolled-over jackpot was a backroom dweller and mother of four from Soweto, whose life was sure to take a massive change.

While this winner had won purely on luck, coincidentally several traditional healers and herbalists claiming to provide luck dwell and offer their services within the luckiest city, Johannesburg.

The Citizen got hold of a few who spoke highly about the work they did for the community, but they failed to account for how many paid for their services and actually won.

“They must just come,” said Dr Zakara, a traditional healer whose practice is based in the heart of Johannesburg’s CBD. “I charge R850 and we work on anything about gambling, even Lotto.”

He went on to share that when a patient paid him a visit, his consultations consisted of prayers and calling on the ancestors to help them get the right numbers.

“I help a lot of people and the results are always correct but I cannot say how many people have won because that is confidential.”

Another traditional healer, Baba Mawisa, also based in Johannesburg, said he had helped people choose the right numbers to win the lottery but he could not give the exact number because he could not read.

“Here, I can help you win anything according to my power but it also depends on your luck,” he explained. “If your luck is strong, you will win.”

Another who wished not to be named, claimed that although he had helped a lot of people, even over the phone, by giving them the right numbers, he did not know how many he helped because some won and never returned to share the good news.

Photo: Roxanne Joseph

The lucky winner of the R114 million jackpot a couple of weeks ago didn’t buy into any of the “miracle worker” claims though.

She had simply popped into a store in Roodepoort on the way home after a long day at work. She just tried her luck.

The occasional lottery player walked out minutes later with a R5 ticket after she had manually selected her numbers on the play slip.

Little did she know that the ticket would change her life forever.

She shared with Ithuba National Lottery that at the time of purchasing the ticket she was in a tough financial situation, and hired a backroom in Soweto that she could not always afford to pay. She said that in these difficult moments she depended on her brother to help her out.

After discovering that she was the county’s latest millionaire, she said: “I can’t wait to drive past my ex-boyfriend in my new car. He will probably faint when he sees me waving at him. He broke up with me because I was broke and didn’t have a fancy job.”

She said she had quit her blue-collar job as a new life had begun for her and her family.

“My four children have been staying with my mother back at home, and I have never been able to spend as much time with them as I wish since I had to work in Johannesburg. I am mostly grateful that this money will give me an opportunity to raise my children, to be able to take them to school and have the pleasure of preparing a scrumptious meal that they can enjoy when they get back from school, something that I’ve been wishing for for a long time.”

Though Gauteng has the most winners, The Western Cape seems to be home to the biggest winners.

The five luckiest cities in 2019 and the number of winners:

Johannesburg                    7,614

Sandton                               3,726

Cape Town                          73

Pretoria                                60

Durban                                 40

Polokwane                           19

Rustenburg                          18

Nelspruit                              14

Soweto                                  14

Pietermaritzburg                14

Numbers of millionaire winners per province:

Gauteng                             302
Kwa-Zulu Natal                7
Limpopo                            5
North West                       3
Western Cape                   3
Mpumalanga                    1
Free State                          1
Eastern Cape                    0
Northern Cape                 0

Gauteng cities with the most new millionaires:
Johannesburg                 197
Sandton                            98
Germiston                        3

  • This story has been updated to include the number of winners per province winning more than R1 million.

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