‘I thought I was in another world’ says R87m Powerball winner

29 July 2016 - 18:18 By S'duduzo Dludla

The 45-year-old winner of the weekend’s R87-million Powerball jackpot says he prayed every time before he played the lottery. The government employee from Limpopo says he has been playing for the past 16 years."This is a gift from God‚" he told a news conference in Johannesburg on Friday hosted by Ithuba‚ which is the National Lottery operator. Due to the law‚ we are not allowed to name or describe the winner.He intends to share his windfall with the needy‚ once he has taken advice on safeguarding his family’s future.“I will help others who are in need of assistance. I am going to invest the money so that I will never be poor again‚” he pledged.He bought a quick-pick ticket for R20 at Global Filling Station in Mokopane on Friday‚ but did not come forward immediately to claim his winnings – a whopping R87.6 million.Describing his emotions‚ he said: “I thought I was in another world”.He said when he came to realise that he had won‚ he had to step out of his house and into the streets to collect his thoughts."I’m so excited about winning the lottery. It's great to see that even people from Limpopo can win‚" he said.Asked why he took three days to claim his prize‚ he said he wanted to be clear-headed. But his wife joked she suspects he was drunk.His wife said there were times when she felt that he was wasting money."When he called me to tell me (about the big win) I thought he was playing games with me. When I realised he wasn't‚ I thought I was dreaming‚" she said.He is the second lottery winner this year to praise God for their luck.In April‚ a Soweto factory worker won R20 million in the Lotto - also for the price of a R20 ticket. The woman‚ who is in her 50s‚ had kept her winning ticket inside her Bible.July's Powerball was the fourth largest win in the National Lottery's history.Ithuba is providing financial and emotional counselling to the winner.Zuki Nomnganga‚ Ithuba spokesperson‚ said: "The relationship with the winner has just started‚ we will be advising him on investment opportunities in the future‚ free of charge‚ but we can't force him to take (all) our advice".The winner of R87 million said he was going to consolidate his debt and perhaps buy himself a mansion.He is considering buying property in Gauteng or Mpumalanga."If you keep playing‚ you too can win. I'm so happy that I can say someone from Limpopo is a multi-millionaire" he said.For now‚ the government employee says he will continue to work.WHICH CHARITIES/INSTITUTIONS GET LOTTERY MONEY and WHAT DO THEY DO WITH ITHave you enjoyed the music of an 18-piece big band recently? Or watched any locally produced feature films? Did you notice a heritage building being restored? These are just some of the sectors that have benefited from the lottery.Ithuba‚ which manages the lottery‚ sponsors several beneficiaries such as sports bodies and clubs‚ educational institutions‚ cultural organisation and charities.It contributes 27 percent from lottery ticket sales.The National Lottery Commission‚ which oversees the beneficiaries‚ has paid out a total of R20 billion since its inception in 2000.Here are some of the recent beneficiaries and what they did with the funds:The Artscape Theatre: Staged the play A Thousand Shepherds. Mzansi Music Ensemble: An 18 piece orchestra that celebrates township sounds such as African jazz‚ and traditional choral music;Kuruman Moffat Mission (Northern Cape): Restoration of a 200-year-old national heritage site; Kalushi: A feature Film on the life of Solomon Mahlangu; -While You Weren’t Looking: A feature film on the lesbian‚ gay‚ bisexual‚ transgender and intersexed community in South Africa (Tina Jaxa received a nod from the 2016 South African Film and Television Awards for Best Supporting Actress); Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre: Provides funding for dance enthusiasts and support for emerging choreographers; Algoa Bay Council for the Aged: Procured new vehicles;Early Childhood Development: Revamped more than 200 preschool buildings in South Africa and funded educators to promote the development of early childhood; Africa Day Concert 2016: Funding for the concert and related activities;Dihlabeng Local Football Association (Free State): Procured soccer kit and sporting equipment; and Mashypje Secondary School (Limpopo): Procured sports equipment and revamped infrastructure.

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