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Durban - A Lotto winner must write their name at the back of their ticket. National Lotteries Board spokesman, Sershan Naidoo, said this was a rule.
“Even if 10 people in an office bought a lotto ticket together, only one person can claim the ticket. They would have to have their own personal arrangement on how the money is shared, but generally only one person can claim the winnings of the ticket,” Naidoo said.
He was commenting after the case of the “stolen” KZN R33 million lottery ticket.
Police said on Sunday that the would-be multimillionaire got his dates mixed up.
Sipho Ngcobo, 26, who tried his luck at the national lottery for the first time last Monday, got all the winning numbers - but not for the draw he had selected.
The numbers came up for draw on October 12 but his ticket was only valid for the Wednesday draw on October 16. After believing he had won on Monday, a slightly tipsy Ngcobo announced his great fortune to those around him.
He left the “winning” ticket with his mother for safekeeping after his new friends suggested it, but his mother was later allegedly robbed by men posing as policemen.
Ngcobo said things began to unravel for him when the real winner confirmed he had already cashed in the winning ticket – before he (Ngcobo) had even bought his.
Police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said when detectives took Ngcobo’s statement, they realised that the ticket had been for Wednesday’s draw.
Ngcobo, who admitted that he was careless and a bit tipsy when he shared the news, said he had bought his first lotto ticket for R3.50 on Monday and had chosen numbers “out of my own head”.
Later that day, with the ticket in hand, he borrowed a newspaper only to discover that the winning numbers matched his.
He said he bought beers for the men to celebrate before making his way home.
“One of the guys accompanied me and told me I should leave the ticket with my mother as it would be dangerous to keep it at my house.”
His mother, Jabulile of Embo, west of Durban, said they planned to redeem the ticket the next day.
However, that night, two men allegedly robbed the sickly woman of the ticket at her home. “They knocked roughly and said, ‘Open the door, we are police’,” Ngcobo said.
They knocked down the door and demanded the ticket at gunpoint.”
Ngcobo said the men were not in police uniform.
His mother handed over the ticket.
The real winner, a driver from the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, laid claim to his winnings just hours before Ngcobo bought his ticket at a BP petrol station in Hillcrest.
Wartburg Spar manager, Mark Kendall-Ball, said the Appelsbosch man had come into the store on Monday to check his ticket and that he had called the lottery office himself to find out how the winner could go about claiming his R33m.
“He was so shocked, he started sweating,” he said of the winner.