The operator of South Africa’s National Lottery reported a sudden spike in online ticket sales. Traditionally, South Africans have purchased paper tickets at supermarkets, service stations, and other vendors, but the ongoing lockdown is changing that.
According to reports, players are not willing to miss out on playing the lottery while the country on extended lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The operator, Ithuba, said that the number of players that have registered on the lottery website has increased at a steady rate.
More than 883,000 players now purchase their tickets online via the website, the mobile app, and online banking profiles. The banks that allow lotto ticket purchases from online banking profiles include Absa, FNB, Nedbank, and Standard Bank. The banking profile option has seen its fair share of jackpot winners. At least 20 players who purchased tickets via their FNB profiles or the FNB banking app went on to win jackpots in the past.
Surge Of Registrations
The National Lottery’s mobile app has seen a significant amount of use since the nationwide lockdown began at the end of March. Within a few days, the number of players who registered using the mobile app increased by approximately 42,000.
According to Ithuba, its app and online ticket sale services were more important than ever before, because they made it possible for players to play without leaving their homes. However, even though players still can purchase tickets and the bi-weekly Lotto and Powerball draws still take place, some winners will need to wait until lockdown is lifted to claim their winnings.
Prizes of R50,000 or more must be claimed at one of the National Lottery offices. Currently, all offices are closed, as the lockdown only allows for essential services to continue operating. Lucky players do not need to be concerned, as all winning lottery tickets are valid for 365 days after the draw date.
Big Jackpots Attracting Players
The spike in South African National Lottery app registrations may also have been prompted by the prospect of winning the largest PowerBall jackpot to be offered this year so far. The draw, which takes place on 21 April, is offering a combined R218 million.
The PowerBall jackpot for that draw is worth an estimated R123 million, and the PowerBall PLUS jackpot is worth an estimated R95 million. In February, a Roodepoort-based player who spent R5 on a ticket won a R114 million PowerBall jackpot.
Lotto Donates To Solidarity Fund
Revenues generated by the National Lottery are used for social development in South Africa. Most recently, the National Lotteries Commission donated R50 million to the country’s Solidarity Fund.
The fund was set up to assist people who are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the national lockdown.