On Friday, national lottery operator Ithuba will likely run a Powerball draw worth R142 million.
The last Powerball draw this week rolled over again – for the 22nd time in a row – leaving an accumulated prize pot already in excess of R132 million, before any further tickets are sold.
And as the potential jackpot has climbed, so have ticket sales. For Tuesday’s draw, South Africans bought some 7.9 million tickets worth not much under R40 million, Ithuba said.
That makes for an estimated prize of R142 million on 4 February.
If a single person hits the right combination of numbers, their win would likely rank as the third largest in South Africa’s lottery history. In 2019, one person won a R232 million lottery, and mid-2021 saw a R158 million payout.
The last Powerball winner was in November, when a 72-year-old won a R100 million prize after sitting on his winning ticket for a week. He said he had no immediate plans on what he would do with the money, beyond getting investment advice.
On Tuesday, the biggest Powerball win was in “division two”, where four players happened upon five correct numbers, but got the Powerball number wrong. That division’s “dividend”, as Ithuba describes it, was worth slightly under R190,000.
The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot remain significantly below the likelihood of being struck by lightning, bitten by a shark, or dying in a fireworks accident.
However, with more tickets being sold as the jackpot grows, the odds of having to share that jackpot because someone else also stumbles on the correct sequence of numbers increase, just barely.
The Powerball draw is due at 21:00 on Friday, and ticket sales close at 20:30.
(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)