Last September, someone visited a Shell Petroleum Station located in Gauteng, South Africa, but it was not because he/she needed gasoline. When that person left that fuel station close to The Mall at Reds Shopping Centre, he/she was in possession of a lottery ticket. And here comes the twist.
The owner of that lottery ticket turned out to be the winner of a jackpot amounting to roughly ZAR 23 Mn but that prize money has gone unclaimed for several months now. And it’s mostly because the owner of the ticket hasn’t come forward to claim it and no one knows how to find him/her.
That’s the story from South Africa’s national lottery operator, Ithuba, who are still looking for the winner of the unclaimed ZAR 23 Mn lottery ticket who now risks missing out on receiving the huge sum altogether if “they” come forward before September 19, after which the money will be disbursed to various charities across South Africa.
The identity of the winner is largely unknown but this much is known; the person bought the ticket at the Shell Amberfield Petrol Station in Rooihuiskraal, Centurion. He or she spent ZAR 30.00 and used the Quick Pick option to have numbers randomly assigned.
The ticket was bought on September 19th, 2018, and will expire on the same day this year, says national lottery operator, Ithuba. The money will be transferred to the National Lotteries Distribution Fund (NLDF), to be distributed to charities.
“We have been looking for the lotto winner for weeks now,” Denise Weweje, manager of the Shell Amberfield petrol station, tells Business Insider South Africa.
Weweje initially assumed the winner claimed the money elsewhere when the winning ticket was announced last year but she was forced to think again when she saw the notice on the website of the national lottery sometime this year. After which, her petrol station and the lottery commission thought to really get involved in the search for the winner, though their efforts have proved abortive so far.
The search for the jackpot winner has gone on for months. Petrol attendants have been instructed to ask all motorists to check their cars and homes for the tickets. The petrol station in question has also posted notes on their Facebook page.
The manager of the Shell petroleum revealed that the search has been made all the more difficult by the fact that no one has any idea who they are even looking for as there is no video footage that could help in finding the potential winner.
“We don’t know what else to do further to track this person,” she says.
Ithuba says the ZAR 23 Mn windfall is the largest unclaimed amount for a single ticket to date, though there is still some ZAR 250 Mn lying around unclaimed and this was accumulated from hundreds of smaller wins that have gone unclaimed.
All these will go to charities if the winners don’t come forward for their payouts. If nothing changes, it does look like a good number of South Africans are about to become accidental philanthropists.
Featured Image Courtesy: timeslive.co.za