With the lockdown in full effect, South Africans find themselves confined to their homes. Some are able to work remotely, while others have been put on unpaid leave. Regardless of which group you fall under, you are probably continuously on the lookout for new activities to keep boredom at bay!
While some people have turned to online casinos for entertainment, others stick with lotteries. Whether you’re a gambler or not, it is always interesting to read about the outliers when it comes to lottery or casino winners.
Have you ever wondered who the youngest SA Lotto winner is and what he or she did with their winnings? Well, wonder no more because today’s article will be taking a look at the youngest South African lottery winners.
In order to be eligible for playing the lottery in South Africa, one must be aged 18 or older. Naturally, this means that our South African winners are typically on the older side of the spectrum. But that doesn’t mean that our young South Africans don’t have a shot at winning the lottery—far from it.
Finally Legal—and Finally a Millionaire
Back in July 2003, an 18-year old and his or her 20-year old partner couldn’t believe that their decision to play the numbers 12, 16, 25, 32, 38, 41 and bonus ball 6 would kick start their lives when they won a whopping R6,020,852.00.
Instead of doing what many in their position would have done and go on a frivolous spending spree, this clever young couple used their winnings to pursue their education and invested the leftovers.
Who says kids can’t be trusted with money? These two certainly proved this theory wrong.
When a 21-year old KwaZulu-Natal native spent R6 on a Daily Lotto ticket in 2019, it’s safe to say he never expected to win R531,938.00. 8, 13, 14, 28 and 35 were this gentleman’s lucky numbers & we bet he feels fondly about those numbers to this day.
How did he spend his winnings? He used the money to not only improve his family’s circumstances but to also assist the elderly members of his community before putting the rest into savings.
Life Starts at 34
The third youngest SA Lotto winner, a 34-year old Secunda-based engineer, won a jackpot that would change the course of his and his varsity sweetheart’s life forever. Playing the numbers 1, 15, 23, 24, 35 and PowerBall number 4, this lucky couple won a staggering R145,469,799.30.
This couple was virtually debt-free when they won the jackpot and so they could literally do whatever they wanted with this significant sum of money. The pair stated that they would carefully plan how they’d spend their winnings.
While not as young as the others on our list, winning that amount of money at that age sets you up for the rest of your life.
Other Young Lottery Winners Can Learn a Thing or Two from Ours
There’s no denying that we South Africans are a savvy bunch, and our youngest lottery winners attest to this. Let’s take a quick look at two of the world’s youngest lottery winners, both hailing from the UK, and see how they compare to our own lucky young winners.
16-year Old UK Foster Child Pocketed £1.9 million
In the UK, you can begin playing lottery at the tender age of 16. Is this wise? We’ll let Callie Rogers’ story answer this question.
In late 2003, 16-year old foster child Callie Rogers won an eye-watering £1.9 million—that’s roughly R39,219,675.40—in the UK lottery. What did she do with her money? What any 16-year old would—squandered it. She quit her job as a checkout clerk, got two breast augmentations, went on luxury holidays, splurged on designer clothes and extravagant gifts to boyfriends & purchased bags upon bags of cocaine.
The only wise investments she made during this time was the purchase of a bungalow for herself and a home for her mother—which is all she has to show of her winnings today. But this story does have a silver lining: fast forward over a decade and Callie, now a mother of three, knows the true value of money.
17-year Old Brit Wins a Cool £1 Million with the First Lottery Ticket She Ever Bought
At the age of 17, Jane Park bought her first ever lottery ticket and was blown away to be on the winning end of £1,000,000.00—according to today’s exchange rate, that’s over twenty million rand. Sadly, Jane’s story is similar to Callie’s, but minus the happy ending.
Jane spent her winnings on multiple cosmetic procedures, luxury vehicles, gambling and plenty of alcohol which led to her being summoned to court for driving under the influence.
Jane threatened the UK National Lottery with a court case as she essentially blames everything bad that has happened to her since she was 17 on her win.
These young lottery winners emphasise what playing the lottery is all about: that truly anyone can win. While our young South African winners do us proud, the international stories we’ve shared with you today should act as a cautionary tale.
Which is more ideal, winning the lottery at a young age and being set up for life or later in life when you’re mature enough to spend your winnings wisely? You decide.