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A R33 million winning lottery jackpot ticket ended up in the hands of bogus cops who allegedly robbed a young Hillcrest man of his windfall earlier this week after he gloated about his winnings.
Sipho Ngcobo, 26, from eMbo in Hillcrest, claims he won the National Lottery jackpot amounting to R33 780 698 last Saturday. The family has opened a case of theft.
Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed the incident. He said no arrest had been made, but investigations were ongoing.
Dudu Ndendwa, the spokeswoman for the national lottery operator, Gidani, said according to their records, last weekend’s winner was from KwaZulu-Natal. She said the winner had already claimed his winnings.
While the body does not publicly release the names of winners, she said once a theft case was opened, their investigators worked with the police to nab any fraudsters.
“Lottery entrants are always informed that their names, surnames and contact details should be written at the back of the ticket to prevent the theft of the tickets.”
The Independent on Saturday’s sister newspaper, Isolezwe, on Friday visited the family and heard that an inconsolable Ngcobo bought the winning ticket at a BP garage in Hillcrest early last Saturday morning.
Later that evening he was beside himself with excitement when he realised he had won the jackpot.
Beaming from the “great news”, Ngcobo told his friends before informing his family on Monday. He gave the ticket to his mother, Jabulile Ngcobo, 64, for safekeeping.
The two were going to claim the jackpot the next day. But it was not to be as later that day two men, masquerading as police officers, barged into the Ngcobo household, demanding the ticket.
Relating events, which led to the robbery, Jabulile said her son was sleeping when two men, dressed in police uniform demanded to see him. When she asked what it was in connection with, she said the pair, who were carrying firearms, became aggressive.
Jabulile, who was still trying to recover from the shock, said the men pointed a gun at her and became more aggressive, kicking and banging doors, demanding the ticket be handed over to them.
“When the men pointed the gun at me, I had no choice but to give them the ticket. All I could think about were my grandchildren and I handed them the ticket. I almost died over this Lotto ticket.”
Ngcobo slept in his bedroom throughout the whole commotion.
When he finally woke up, he broke down, crying hysterically when his mother told him of the ordeal. - Independent on Saturday