South Africa Lotto
A lottery game that offers traditional mechanics and big prizes, the South Africa Lotto is one of its countries most well-regarded lotteries. Run by National Lottery South Africa, this 6/52 lottery game features uncapped rollovers, eight ways to win, tax-free cash payouts and even optional games wherein you can win more prizes! Read on if you want to learn more about this lottery game where jackpots start at a guaranteed R2,000,000.
About South Africa Lotto
The South Africa Lotto has been one of the National Lottery South Africa’s flagship games for the longest time. Introduced back in March 2, 2000, the South African Lotto initially held draws only once a week. A year later, a second drawing was introduced to the mix—transforming the game into a bi-weekly draw. Since then, the game has steadily rose to become one of the country’s most popular games.
Quick South Africa Lotto Facts
- Simple mechanics: The South Africa Lotto operates on a 6/52 lotto matrix—which is pretty simple and straightforward.
- Big jackpots: Jackpots start at R2,000,000 and can grow until someone wins. The best thing about South Africa Lotto’s rollovers? They’re uncapped!
- Bi-weekly draws: Players get two chances to win every week as draws are held every Wednesday and Saturday.
- 8 ways to win: In addition to the jackpot, there are 7 secondary prizes you can win.
- Lottos Plus 1 and 2: South Africa Lotto offers an additional game you can play which gives you more chances to win prizes.
- Lump sum payouts: All South Africa Lotto prizes are paid out in cash.
- Tax-free: All winnings are also 100% tax-free at the source.
How Does South Africa Lotto Work?
As mentioned earlier, the South Africa Lotto utilizes a 6/52 lotto matrix. Simply put, this means that you must pick six numbers from a guess range of 1 to 52. There is also a bonus number that is picked during every draw, but it doesn’t count toward the jackpot—only towards the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th prize tiers.
To win the jackpot, you must match all six main numbers. Meanwhile, you must match five numbers plus the bonus number to win the second prize. Overall, there are 8 prize tiers you can win in, where the minimum requirement to win a prize is matching two numbers, along with the bonus number. Meanwhile, draws are held every Wednesday and Saturday, so you have two chances to win every week.
Jackpots start at a guaranteed minimum of R2,000,000, but can grow in succeeding draws in case no one wins the jackpot. Unlike some lotteries, such as the Euromillions, the South Africa Lotto does not have a jackpot rollover cap. In other words, the jackpot can keep on growing and growing until someone wins the top prize.
Lotto Plus 1 & 2
South Africa Lotto also has an optional additional game called the Lotto Plus 1. For R2.50, you can play this game—which is played the same exact way as the main Lotto game, but with a new set of numbers drawn—to win more prizes.
It is played alongside the main South Africa Lotto game, and it has its own set of prizes, jackpot included. In other words, if you opt for the Lotto Plus 1, you have the chance to win 2 jackpots every draw. In a week, that’s 4 chances to win jackpots!
As if that’s not enough, the South Africa Lotto also has the Lotto Plus 2. Essentially, it works the exact same way as the Lotto Plus 1. So, if you go for both optional games, you can play for 6 jackpots every week.
The Odds of Winning
Your odds of winning in South Africa Lotto aren’t that bad, but I’ve seen more favorable odds elsewhere—South Africa Powerball, for example, comes into mind. Winning the jackpot means beating the 1 in 20,358,520 odds, for example. Again, it’s not the most favorable, but it is still quite decent. Check out the breakdown below to see for yourself:
|Numbers Matched||Odds of Winning|
|6||1 in 20,358,520|
|5 + Bonus||1 in 3,393,087|
|5||1 in 75,402|
|4 + Bonus||1 in 30,161|
|4||1 in 1,371|
|3 + Bonus||1 in 1,028|
|3||1 in 72|
|2 + Bonus||1 in 96|
So What Happens if You Win?
All winnings, including the jackpot, are paid out in cash (a.k.a. lump sum). This means that, should you win, you get to take home all your winnings right then and there—no need to wait for annual payments. And the best part is that all South Africa Lotto prizes are 100% tax-free at the source.
Of course, if you’re from another country and are simply using a lottery site to play, then you may have to deal with your local taxes. Still, it’s better than getting tax deductions twice! Speaking of lottery sites, the claiming process depends from site to site. Some may require you to appear in person if you win the jackpot, while some may offer to claim it on your behalf so you won’t have to travel.
On the other hand, if you’re in South Africa, then you should take note of a few guidelines:
- For winnings of R2,000 and below: You may claim your prize at any South Africa National Lottery retail outlet just one day after the draw.
- For winnings between R2,000 and R50,000: You may claim your winnings at an Authorized Prize Payment Centre. Some post offices—ones that participate in lottery games—can pay out your winnings.
- For winnings beyond R50,000: You must claim your winnings at one of South African Lottery’s offices. In addition, you also need to complete a claim form and submit your proof of identity.
Meanwhile, every winner—regardless of where they played South Africa Lotto from—has one year from the date of the draw to claim their winnings. Otherwise, all unclaimed prizes will be forfeited.
The Biggest South Africa Lotto Winners
While the South Africa Lotto doesn’t hold a candle to the astronomical jackpots that games like the US Powerball or Mega Millions usually offer, that doesn’t mean there are no big winners here. Don’t believe me? Here are some of the biggest winners so far:
|Jackpot||# of Winners||Date of Draw|
|R58.35 million||2||Apr. 24, 2013|
|R44.7 million||4||Feb. 15, 2003|
|R34.3 million||1||Mar. 8, 2006|
South Africa Lotto Fun Facts
- On March 15, 2003, around 33 players won the jackpot, which lead to them taking home R111,901 each. So far, it was the largest number of players who shared a jackpot in the South Africa Lotto.
- Around 34% of the revenue from ticket sales go to the National Lottery Distribution Fund, which allocates the money to various charities and/or good causes—such as reconstruction and development projects.
- Around 50% of unclaimed prizes will be distributed by NDLF to good causes as well.
The Bottom Line on South Africa Lotto
Both beginners and old hands alike are sure to appreciate what South Africa Lotto has to offer. It might not have the most favorable odds around, but it doesn’t exactly have the longest odds either. At least you can win 7 other ways if you don’t win the jackpot. And hey, they also give you the chance to win in 2 other draws via the Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2, if you want. Perhaps most importantly, South Africa Lotto jackpots can continue to grow thanks to uncapped rollovers, so the potential to win big is definitely there.