Lotto payouts – chances of winning
Compared to other lotteries around the world, you’ve got a much better chance of winning the Lotto jackpot. The actual amount won in Rand depends on the prize pool for that draw, with the prize pool being directly influenced by the number of tickets sales. With 45% of ticket sales going towards the prize pool, it only takes a few rollovers for the jackpot to start climbing to R 4,000,000+.
We’ve listed the odds of winning based on the number of balls you match and each combination's corresponding prize-pool percentage. Don’t forget: the lower the odds of winning, the smaller the prize will be, as you’ll most likely not be the only winner. Conversely, the higher odds of winning a Lotto jackpot (1 in over 20 million) means you’re statistically more likely to be the only winner of the jackpot that we calculate will be an average of nearly R 6,000,000. The overall odds of winning a prize are 1 in 38.
Winning the Lotto jackpot
Matching six of the numbers drawn on Wednesday or Saturday will mean you’ve won the jackpot -or if there is more than one winner, a share of the jackpot. Normally, there are just one or two players that share the jackpot prize; however, multiple jackpot winners do happen. For example, on Saturday, March 15, 2003, there were an incredible 33 Lotto jackpot winners who each won R 119,901.
Like the rest of the payouts, the jackpot amount is dependent on ticket sales; it is made up of 18.25% of the total prize pool plus any pre-existing rollover.
The first South Africa Lotto tickets went on sale on Thursday, March 2, 2000, when the then President, Thabo Mbeki, bought the first ever Lotto ticket in Langa, Cape Town. Since then, the Lotto has become South Africa’s most popular lottery game, generating thousands of millionaires overnight.
The first Lotto results were published following the inaugural draw on Saturday, March 11, 2000 and it didn’t take long for the jackpot winners to start rolling in. The very first Lotto jackpot winner came forward just one day after that first draw. Along with six others, Sharon Valentine, a 47-year-old single mother and nursery school teacher, won a share of the R 3,000,000 jackpot.
However, it wasn’t long before Lotto made its first millionaire winner. Just five draws into Lotto’s lifetime, Batsirai Mupfawi won the life-changing sum of R 13,831,850 on Saturday, April 8, 2000. Mupfawi, a chauffeur who was also studying to pass exams, had spent just R 5 on tickets and won his millions after the previous three draws had rolled over.
The biggest Lotto jackpot winner in South African history was won in March 2006, and the jackpot amount was R 34,256,346. However, the lucky winner from West Rand, Johannesburg almost missed out on his winnings. Not realising that he’d won, the 50-year-old man went to work as normal the day after the draw, and it wasn’t for almost 24 hours after the draw that he realised he’d won. Mystery still surrounds the true identity of the winner, who has chosen to keep his identity a secret to this very day.