20 Players Win Over R5M Each in Controversial Powerball Lottery Draw
Ithuba, operator of South Africa’s National Lottery, has assured the public that an unusual sequence of numbers draw in Tuesday’s Powerball lottery draw is not the result of a scam.
The December 1st draw saw the numbers 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 drawn. Incredibly, the Powerball number was 10
According to Ithuba, 20 people bought a winning ticket and will share the massive jackpot, each pocketing R5.7 million. The BBC points out that it is “extremely rare for multiple winners to share the jackpot.”
Besides the 20 top winners, another 79 players won nearly R6,300 each for guessing 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, but missing out on the winning Powerball number.
Reacting to growing cries of an alleged scam, Ithuba told reporters that the odds of the draw resulting in this unusual sequence were the same as any other combination. The chances of winning the Powerballl Lottery are around 1:42,375,200.
Ithuba tweeted: “Congratulations to tonight’s 20 winners of the PowerBall draw. These numbers may be unexpected, but we see many players opt to play these sequences.”
Social media practically exploded following Tuesday night’s draw, with many South Africans sharing their opinions, ranging from humorous conspiracy theories to downright disbelief and anger. So many people called for an inquiry, that the South African National Lotteries Commission confirmed that it would investigate the draw.
However, Ithuba is standing its ground and is insisting that the draw wasn’t rigged.
Busisiwe Msizi, the head of corporate relations at Ithuba said: “History and experience have taught us it is common for multiple players to select the same winning numbers.
“A week ago, we celebrated two players who won the R19m PowerBall PLUS jackpot in the November 24 draw.
“What we were not imagining was 20 people could win the same jackpot. This came as a pleasant surprise to us, and our wildest dream came true. It has always been Ithuba’s goal to offer life-changing jackpots to as many people as possible – especially now, following the tough year we’ve had.”