In countries all over the world, the national lottery is everyone’s chance to get rich quick. The entirely randomized game of number stamping and ball-rolling is popular from the UK to right round to Brazil, with so many nations in between hosting national and continental lottery draws. In South Africa, the national lottery’s PowerBall reigns supreme and has crowned many multi-millionaires over the years.

Players select five numbers between one and 45 as well as a special Powerball number between one and 20. The odds of calling all five numbers correctly come at odds of 1 in 2,230,274, with a correct five numbers and the Powerball coming at 1 in 42,375,200. Due to these incredibly long odds, the jackpot is able to build up over several draws most of the time, sometimes reaching absurd sums of money. Best of all, it’s tax-free!

As all lottery players look to gain an edge when trying to land these massive jackpots, we’ve decided to rummage back through the biggest lottery winners in South Africa to analyze their lucky numbers.

The biggest South African lottery winners

South African lottery winners

Standing as the biggest South African lottery winner for seven years, a man in his 20s near threw away his lottery ticket worth R102 million in 2011. The eventual winner came into his local service station in Langenhovenpark, Bloemfontein, but when checking his ticket, the machine continued to decline. He instructed the service station manager to throw the ticket away, but on the third attempt, it buzzed through as the jackpot winner.

Seven years later, in August 2018, someone finally won the Powerball jackpot which would set a new record. Having spent a mere R20 on a ticket in Mpumalanga, the engineer took a while to come forward to claim their winnings but stated that they had been playing the lottery for a long time and knew that their big win would come eventually, with that win being a record-breaking R145 million.

Despite it taking seven years to smash the initial R102 million record, it only took six months for it to be broken once again. This time it was a winner in their 50s, purchasing the ticket in the Western Cape. Having picked up the ticket in OK Mini Market in Goodwood, they were delighted to win the jackpot prize of a staggering and record-obliterating R232 million.

Hot tips and jackpot wins suggest spreading your picks

jackpot wins

Many selections of winning number combinations will have some thought put into them or will at least glean some information as to potential hot or cold numbers. The hot tips for selecting a winning number combination, however, is to mix up odd and even numbers as well as spread your picks and not just go all low or all high, which is what the jackpot-winning numbers show.

The 2011 set read 6, 30, 31, 33, 36, while the 2018 win was from the numbers 1, 15, 23, 24, 35. The most recent huge jackpot win was claimed with the numbers 14, 18, 21, 26, 35. Each of the winning tickets shows a spread of numbers, with the 2011 one being bunched in the 30s but also featuring a low number. All three big wins featured a number in the 30s, with the only repeating number being 35.

People love to deploy strategies and theories to try to pick winning number combinations, and while it will add to the fun and will most likely take the credit if a big win is landed, it's good to remember that the lottery is an entirely random game – so you’ll also need a big pinch of luck.