Three lottery millionaires: how they spend their cash may surprise you

A 39-year-old man who was living with his in-laws says he wants to buy his dream home after winning a whopping R55m in a PowerBall jackpot.
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Dream homes await a R55m Gauteng winner who “camped” with his in-laws and Cape Town’s R61m second-time lottery winner.

With a PowerBall jackpot of R110m potentially up for grabs on Tuesday night, these recent winners – along with Centurion’s R23.7m winner who claimed his cash on Monday – have shared that they will adopt a sober approach when spending their cash.

Apart from new homes, furthering their studies is another goal for lottery winners – which ties in with research that shows many Lotto players are struggling financially or are even unemployed.

A 39-year-old man who lived with his in-laws is planning to buy his family a dream home after winning a whopping R55m PowerBall jackpot.

“The first thing that I want to do is to invest a large part of my winnings so I don’t ever have to face financial challenges again,” the Gauteng man said.

“I also want to buy a house where my partner and our two children can live. We have been staying at her parents’ house and I have been longing for us to own a home of our own,” he said.

The new multimillionaire was speaking at the offices of national lottery operator Ithuba in Sandton recently. He was accompanied by his partner and his father-in-law.

His winnings come from a PowerBall draw on June 4. He claimed his winnings with Ithuba two days later. A R30 ticket and manual selection of the numbers is what led the man, a frequent Lotto player, to riches.

He said that he also intends to further his studies. Financial constraints prevented him from doing so in the past.

“One other important wish I have been hoping to fulfil is to pursue tertiary education. Now that I can afford to, I plan to register the first chance I get,” he said.

While his life would change for the better, he said he also wanted to change the lives of those closest to him.

He is one of a string of recent millionaires announced by the national lottery this year.

On Monday, a man in his 40s from Centurion claimed his R23.7m winnings following media reports that his ticket had been due to expire after almost a year.

The man, dressed casually in jeans and sneakers, was accompanied by his wife. The duo said they were government employees who had no intention of quitting their jobs despite the big win.

Reluctant at first to say what they’d do with their winnings, they said they would invest the money and empower their children.

“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,” he said.

Meanwhile, a father of three in Cape Town, who bagged R61m in the July 27 draw using a R20 wager, has also claimed his winnings.

He said he had been unemployed for five years.

“I had not been working for the past five years, until I got a contract job early this year. 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,” he said.

The man said he had previously won R75,000, which he used to build a four-roomed house. With his latest win, he intends getting a bigger house so that his children can have their own bedrooms.

“I want to invest a large portion of the winnings so that my family never suffers again,” he said.

A recent study commissioned by the National Lotteries Commission, conducted by the Unisa’s Bureau for Market Research, found that 74.3% of lottery activity participants cited the “need for money” as a major reason for participating in the lottery.

Less affluent South Africans represent a sizeable portion of lottery players and the unemployed represent 27.7% of national lottery players.

Also, about a quarter (23.9%) of national lottery players are government-grant recipients while 42.2% earn a monthly income of less than R5,000.

According to the study, about a quarter of respondents who participate in the national lottery spend between R21 and R50 a month while about a third spend between R51 and R150 a month.

Contrary to dreams of living the high life, the study found that lottery prize winners mainly spend their winnings on necessities.

BY NONKULEKO NJILO

TimesLIVE

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