A person who bought the ticket at the OK Minimark in Tygerdal, Cape Town, won a massive R232 131 750.69.

South Africa was abuzz with the story that one lucky Powerball winner had shovelled the record-breaking R232 million jackpot on Tuesday evening: The prize was the biggest in African Powerball history.

SA Powerball Results and Plus for February 2019 

But that familiar excitement is slowly turning into butterflies. It’s been three days since this anonymous citizen discovered gold, but they have not yet got in contact with the National Lottery Commission to claim their prize. The unsuspecting multi-millionaire is however to come forward, and the ticket won’t remain valid forever

Like countless other South Africans, we’ve been questioning what happens if a jackpot goes unclaimed. We spoke with Busi Koloi – a spokesperson for the National Lottery – who revealed how long claimants have to strike it rich before the window of possibility slams shut.
Panda, Pusha, Delay – Here’s what happens when a lottery jackpot goes unclaimed

Who is the R232 million Powerball winner and have they claimed their money?

On Wednesday, we got a bit more about the person who bought the tickets. But apart from their location in Cape Town and how much they spent on the draw, information remains scant. Koloi told us that the commission is doing everything they can to get the nonchalant victor:
“We are yet to hear from the person who won this jackpot. We have been advertising this draw so much, and we’re still calling for more ticket checks and waiting on the winner to come forward. There has been so much hype and media attention here, and the whole of Africa is just sitting and waiting!”Busi Koloi

How long does a Powerball winner have to claim their winnings?

According to Koloi, people have exactly 365 days from the date of the draw to claim their winnings. There is no other protocol for those who miss this deadline – if you leave it more than a year, the commission will not recognise your numbers as a winning ticket. So it’s best not to dawdle.

However, there have apparently been some instances of people only speaking up about their winnings just days before the deadline: Some players will put their stakes on once or twice a week, but then only check their numbers every six-to-twelve months. It’s a strange method, but it works for a handful of South Africans.

Where the money goes if no-one claims their lottery winnings

Any money that’s not claimed after a year goes towards the charitable causes that the National Lottery Commission fund. So if no-one comes for this R232 million, that’ll be the donation of a lifetime for the organisation. The money goes nowhere else and is distributed to a wide range of worthy causes.
The last unclaimed Lotto win in South Africa

It happened very recently. Some poor schmuck – who spent R15 on a ticket at a Shoprite Checkers in Parow, Cape Town – failed to claim a R28 million jackpot before the cut-off point of 13 February 2019.

Winners who have not claimed their prizes are urged to contact the lottery offices on 0800 484 822.