UPDATE: 16 Feb 2010 (13h50 SAST) – click here for details
UPDATE: 16 Feb 2010 (18h05 SAST) – click here for details
Lottery tickets are something I don’t buy very often, in fact, very seldom, and often just on a whim, spend a little if you win you win, if you don’t, well, better luck next time. To those who religiously buy tickets twice a week for each and every draw I feel sorry for them as they’re paying ‘a poor man’s tax‘.
This past Sunday the media announced that only one person had bought a valid ticket with the winning numbers, which meant that one person held a ticket for R91 million.
In a press release Dr Bongani Khumalo, chairman and CEO of National Lottery operator Gidani said: “One incredibly lucky lottery player has finally won Friday’s gigantic R91m PowerBall Jackpot in the lottery game which gripped the imagination of the nation for weeks and weeks while the six winning numbers proved elusive.” – source IOL
Then, early Monday morning the media announced who the winner of the R91 million was (stupid mistake number 1).
… a deaf and mute cleaner at a hardware shop in Wynberg, won over R91m in the national lottery’s PowerBall game, reports an Afrikaans daily.
The family are reportedly now staying at an undisclosed location after being approached for money. – source IOL
Why post the name of someone who won the latest lottery? Even less so a deaf mute? From whom did they get the winning ticket holder’s details from? And if he’s a deaf mute, did he even give them permission to publish his details? Then later in the day the following report was published.
The Cape Town family who won R91-million in Friday night’s PowerBall draw has been spirited away, apparently by employees of the National Lottery. – source IOL
It’s no surprise then that all the vultures come out to take advantage of a family who’ve just been named as the winners of a huge lottery win.
Then this morning (mistake number 2 – can you say back-pedal, back-pedal) the media (and the lottery company) announce that the winner claimed by the media is in fact NOT the lottery winner.
… a Cape Town cleaner, isn’t the winner of the PowerBall jackpot of over R91m, says the National Lottery Board, a report says.
However, Board chief executive Vevek Ram says that someone else won the prize, and wishes to remain anonymous. – source IOL
Am I the only cynical one that thinks something smells really wrong about this? Why the denial all of a sudden? Is the lottery in South Africa rigged (surely not?), is this a PR/media nightmare that they’re trying to get themselves out of (and failing dismally)? Was there really even a winner? If the family named in the media are not the winners, how long will it be before they’re no longer hounded by the vultures out there who want a piece of their, alleged, financial freedom?
What do you think?
UPDATE: 16 Feb 2010 (13h50 SAST)
It would appear that one or more journalists did not do their job correctly. As it has now come to light that the alleged winner’s winning lottery ticket numbers are indeed those drawn BUT are in fact not for the R91m draw but tonight’s draw instead.
… a deaf man from Parkwood, has a PowerBall ticket with Friday night’s winning numbers on it. But while the numbers match up, the date is for tonight’s draw.
The Cape Argus’s examination of the ticket shows that the numbers match up to Friday night’s winning numbers, but the date at the top of the ticket reads “First draw – 16/02/2010”, suggesting that the ticket is only eligible in tonight’s draw. – source IOL
I guess my media nightmare heading might still hold true because it seems people have jumped the gun in more ways than one as seen here:
[his] rags-to-riches story has seized South Africa’s attention, prompting the Minister for Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, to issue a statement congratulating the family.- source IOL
Not sure whether or not the statement has in fact been issued by Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya yet but it would be a media nightmare if it has.
What’s that saying: Don’t count all your chickens before they’ve hatched.
UPDATE: 16 Feb 2010 (18h05 SAST)
Now, almost two days after the fact, it would appear that all the blame lies with the person who claimed to have had the winning ticket (but for the wrong draw day).
National lottery operator Gidani on Tuesday said it was battling to understand why a Cape Town man claimed to have won a Powerball jackpot of more than R91 million.
The real winner, a 43-year-old wife and mother of two also from the Western Cape, had the millions handed over to her on Tuesday. – source EWN
And in one of the polls run by IOL today they asked readers whether or not they would want their name made public if they had won the lottery or not. Only a small number voted Yes:
Of the 978 people who participated in the poll; 97 percent (952 votes) said “No” and 3 percent (26 votes) said “Yes”. – source IOL
In related news a couple in the UK found out that they won £56m in the local lottery.
The couple, who would make around £s;47 000 a week in interest if they banked all their jackpot, said they were confident that the huge win will not spoil their children.
The family plan to move from their £235 000 three-bedroom semi in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, to a six-bedroom detached, ideally with a pool. But they want to stay in the same area where their children enjoy school and have lots of friends. – source IOL