Agonising wait for two to collect nearly R17m bagged in the lottery

In a perfect, coronavirus-free world, two people who played the lotto last week and bagged a total of nearly R17m would today be heading to the Ithuba offices to claim their winnings.

They are instant millionaires but will have to wait for lockdown regulations to be eased before they can pocket any cash.
Image: Gabriel Petrescu/ 123RF.com

But with the lockdown extended, the latest lotto millionaires will have to wait for a minimum of two weeks before getting even a cent of their winnings. This is because, like many South African organisations, the Ithuba offices are shut.

Ithuba’s corporate relations executive, Khensani Mabuza, issued a message to the winners, urging them to remain calm as the winnings would be paid out.

“We urge the two winners to please keep their tickets safe and to secure them by writing their names and ID numbers on the back”, Mabuza said.

“We understand that the winners could be overwhelmed with anxiety, particularly because they have to wait longer than usual before they can claim. We plead with them to remain patient, bearing in mind that all winning tickets have a lifespan of 365 days before they expire.

“We want to assure the winners that we are prepared to assist them through a smooth claiming process once we are able to. This includes psychological counselling, which is essential in helping them deal with this life-changing moment,” she added.

Both played the national lotto on Saturday April 11.

The first scored just over R10.5m after spending R10 on a ticket at Letsitele in Gauteng.

The second winner bagged the jackpot in the Lotto Plus draw and won just over R6.3m. The ticket was purchased in Magalies Kruin, Pretoria North, for R80.

“Both players opted for a manual selection of numbers, which means they selected their own lucky numbers,” Ithuba said.

They join another millionaire who hit the jackpot just before the lockdown was announced but had not come forward by the time Ithuba officially closed its doors in adherence with the lockdown regulations.

Ithuba said since the lockdown was announced, many people were finding others ways to place their bets without joining queues or leaving their homes by playing online or via banking apps.

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)

BY NALEDI SHANGE

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