Gidani boss strikes family off Lotto roll

By Bronwyn Gerretsen

Millions of South Africans, even those who don't play the Lotto, dream about what they would do with the money should they win.

But one man who doesn't allow himself to dream is Dr Bongani Khumalo, the chief executive officer of Gidani, the Lotto's operating company.

Because he is not permitted to play, he doesn't allow himself to dream about it either.

Speaking at a media breakfast in Umhlanga on Friday, Khumalo said he and his family had decided that none of his immediate relatives would play either, although there was no law preventing them from participating.

Khumalo said Gidani had created 10 millionaires, who won a total of R31-million, since operating the national lottery about 71 days ago, excluding this past weekend's draw. Further, 7,6 million people had shared prizes totalling R258-million.

And R222-million had been made available to the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund for allocation to charities and "deserving recipients".

Khumalo said 34 percent of revenue generated by the sale of tickets went into the fund.

Retailer commission accounted for 6 percent of the amount generated from ticket sales, operational costs 10 percent and prizes 50 percent of sales.

The retail industry was boosted with R37-million in commissions paid out by Gidani.

"There are more than 7 600 Lotto terminals throughout South Africa and we are hoping to grow this to 10 600 in the future. Our network is GPRS-based so we are able to reach more areas than before," he said.

Khumalo added that Gidani would also focus on the SportStake and Scratch Cards as, under the previous operating licence holder, there was "not a good enough understanding and marketing" of the game, which was potentially very popular.

KwaZulu-Natal had 17 percent of the retail footprint and the third-highest ticket sales with 13 percent. "KZN does not have the highest number of ticket sales, but it definitely could have in the future," said Khumalo.

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