South Africa Powerball

The South Africa Powerball is, as far as lotteries go, in a unique position. While it’s modeled after the mega popular US Powerball, it manages to carve an identity of its own. The jackpots aren’t anywhere near what other lotteries can offer, but it still holds pretty well on its own. At the very least, the South Africa Powerball offers the potential to really win big thanks to its uncapped rollovers, favorable odds, and tax-free payouts. But, can it be a worthwhile alternative to the bigger Powerball games?

About South Africa Powerball

South Africa Powerball Logo

As far as “Powerball” lotteries go, South Africa Powerball is among the youngest. Introduced only in October 2009 by the South Africa National Lottery, it quickly became one of the largest and most popular in the country in a short amount of time. It offers some of the largest jackpots in the South Africa lottery scene, with the potential for bigger wins via rollovers. Today, it is easily one of the best lottery games South Africa has to offer.

Some Quick South Africa Powerball Facts

  • Modeled after US Powerball: The South Africa Powerball is modeled after its more popular US counterpart—with some differences. The former, for instance, uses a smaller guess range than the latter.
  • Bi-weekly draws: South Africa Powerball draws are held every Tuesday and Friday, giving you two chances to win every week.
  • Jackpots: Top prizes start at a guaranteed R3 million.
  • Rollovers: So long as no one wins the jackpot, it can keep growing and growing.
  • Relatively good odds: Compared to bigger and more popular lottery offerings in the US or Europe, the odds of winning in the South Africa Powerball are relatively more favorable.
  • 9 ways to win: South Africa Powerball offers nine prize tiers. You can win by simply matching the Powerball number.
  • Pays out in cash: All South Africa Powerball prizes are paid out in lump sum form.
  • Tax-free: All prizes are 100% tax-free, though players from other countries may have to pay local taxes depending on where they live.

How Does South Africa Powerball Work?

The Basics

Modeled after the US Powerball, the South Africa Powerball utilizes a double matrix format. However, instead of completely copying its US counterpart, it makes use of a much smaller guess range. South Africa Powerball players must choose 5 numbers from a guess range of 1-45 and one Powerball number from a guess range of 1-20.

To win the jackpot, all 5 numbers, plus the Powerball number, must be matched. If you only match the 5 main numbers, and not the Powerball, then you win the second-tier prize. Just like other lotteries, the less numbers you match, the less money you win. Overall, there are 9 prize tiers you can win in—where the lowest requirement to win a prize is by matching only the Powerball number.

If no one wins the jackpot, it will simply rollover—and will continue to do so—until someone wins. Take note that rollovers only apply to the jackpot. For secondary prizes, they will simply roll down to the next prize tier if nobody wins. For example, if you to win the 3rd prize and nobody won the 2nd prize, the winnings simply trickle down to you.

The Odds of Winning

Speaking of winning, your chances of hitting the jackpot are far better here than in bigger lotteries. You have, for instance, a 1 in 24,435,180 chance of winning the jackpot. Compared to the US Powerball and its 1 in 292,201,338 odds of winning the top prize, that’s beyond favorable! Check out the full breakdown of odd below:

Numbers MatchedOdds of Winning
5 + Powerball1 in 24,435,180
51 in 1,286,062
4 + Powerball1 in 122,176
41 in 6,430
3 + Powerball1 in 3,133
31 in 165
2 + Powerball1 in 247
1 + Powerball1 in 53
Powerball only1 in 38

So What Happens if You Win?

Should you be lucky enough to win in South Africa Powerball, there are some things you should take note of. For starters, all prizes are paid out in cash, so don’t expect any annuity options to be presented to you. That’s great because it means you can get all your winnings as soon as possible.

Here are some more things to take note of:

  • For winnings R2,000 below: Winners may claim their prize at any South Africa National Lottery outlet one day after the draw.
  • For winnings between R2,000 and R50,000: Winners may claim their prize at an authorized Prize Payment Centre, such as participating Post Offices.
  • For winnings beyond R50,000: Winners may claim their prizes at a South Africa National Lottery office. Winners must also complete a claim form and provide proof of identity.
  • Deadline: Winners must claim their prize within a year (or 365 days) of the draw lest their ticket become invalidated.

Take note that the guidelines above may not apply to online lottery players. Most lottery sites transfer most winnings to a player’s account, so you don’t really have to travel. Only those who win the jackpot may be asked to appear in person to collect their prize. Even then, that’s not universal—there are some lottery sites that offer to collect your prize on your behalf.

As for taxes, prizes are considered tax-free, so you don’t have to worry about your prize becoming smaller due to any deductions. For those in countries other than South Africa, however, taxes are another story. While it is technically 100% tax-free at the source, you may have to deal with your local tax laws in your country of residence.

The Biggest South Africa Powerball Winners

Thanks to the generally favorable odds and uncapped rollovers, many people—sole winners, in fact—have won big with South Africa Powerball. While the prizes are nowhere near the astronomical jackpots often reached by its US counterpart, the potential to win big is there. Don’t believe me? Here are the biggest winners so far:

Jackpot# of WinnersDraw Date
R102.01 million1June 3, 2011
R91.06 million1Feb. 12, 2010
R70.03 million1Jan. 12, 2018
R69.54 million1July 13, 2010
R64 million1Oct. 12, 2010
R61.26 million1Dec. 8, 2015

Some South Africa Powerball Fun Facts

  • Around 34% of the funds raised through South Africa Powerball ticket sales go to the National Lottery Distribution Fund, which then distributes it to a variety of good causes.
  • Some of the major beneficiaries include reconstruction and development projects aimed at making South African citizens’ lives better.
  • Any unclaimed prizes go to the National Distribution Fund as well, where around 50% are allocated towards good causes.

Bottom Line on South Africa Powerball

It may not be as big as it US counterpart, but South Africa Powerball still has a lot going for it. Jackpots start at R3 million; rollovers are uncapped; the odds are pretty good compared to other lotteries; you get 9 ways to win; and, best of all, prizes are tax-free and paid out in cash! What’s not to like?