Rich pickings for digital Lotto players

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Ithuba, the South African National Lottery operator, has revealed that punters are moving to digital platforms in droves since the nation-wide lockdown was enforced.

The company runs Lotto, which is the most popular type of gambling in South Africa, while Powerball has been the faster-growing due to its high pay-outs.

In response to the COVID-19 lockdown, in March, Ithuba urged South Africans to use its digital platforms to play their favourite lottery games.

The company said players can make use of its Web site, and online platforms of bank channel partners Absa, FNB, Standard Bank and Nedbank.

It also encouraged all players to use the company’s mobile app, which is downloadable on all smartphones.

However, National Lottery ticket sales at retail stores have resumed, effective 1 June.

Players will also be able to claim their winnings at participating retail stores and at the National Lottery regional offices.

ITWeb followed up with the lottery operator on the progress the digital platforms have made since the lockdown began.

According to Neo Merafi, product public relations manager at Ithuba, the company has seen a 15% growth in online registrations on its platforms since the COVID-19 lockdown.

“The growth has surged to over 900 000 players,” Merafi says. “We’ve had a large number of players choosing to play and claim their winnings online, including a R16 million Lotto jackpot which was played on our Web site and R135 million played via the FNB app.”

The R16 million winner used the National Lottery Web site to play their winning Lotto numbers of 8, 10, 15, 27, 30, 49 and bonus number 6.

The winner played two tickets on the day, one for R40 using the manual selection method and another for R20 to play the quick pick method, which was the lucky winning ticket.

In April, FNB said a KwaZulu-Natal-based FNB customer won R135 million from the Powerball draw after he purchased a R100 quick pick ticket through the FNB online banking platform.

The bank says since the start of Ithuba’s Lotto administration in 2015, a total of over R1.354 billion in winnings have been paid out to FNB customers who played Lotto and Powerball through FNB’s digital channels to date.

According to FNB, over the past five years, there has been a total of 26 National Lottery jackpot winners who played via FNB's digital banking platforms, with the FNB app being the most popular channel in terms of value of purchase.

To play online, Ithuba says players need to log on to and register an account. They can then click on “my wallet” to deposit money into their wallets and follow the prompts.

Once they have successfully topped up their wallets, they can select the game they would like to play – the registration process takes less than five minutes to complete.

According to Ithuba, the National Lottery Web site, National Lottery mobile app and banking partner digital channels “not only offer the convenience of playing in the comfort of your home but winnings under R50 000 are paid directly into your online wallet or bank account, depending on the play channel used”.

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15 Aug
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