Cape Town - He bought his R20 Powerball ticket 15 minutes before cut off time - and had to contend with years of his wife’s misgivings over playing the national lottery.
But after 16 years, it all paid off for the Limpopo public servant who finally brought home the big bucks this week - all R87-million of them.
“My wife believed I was just wasting our money... When the Powerball jackpot hit R75m, I asked her to be the one selecting the numbers, but she refused,” he said on Friday.”She couldn’t believe it when I broke the news to her.”
It took him more than a week to come forward because of the “surreal feeling” he experienced when he realised he was the sole winner.
“I felt numb. I had to calm down first before claiming my winnings. This is a jackpot within a jackpot,” he said at the Joburg offices of the Ithuba National Lottery.
The big winner is however not planning to leave his daily job as a public servant, although he admits he’s tempted to buy a “nice” car and a mansion for his family.
The 45-year old credits his Christian beliefs for his newfound riches.
“My wife and I burst into a gospel hymn when we realised our fortunes had changed for the better.”
His wife had also now changed her outlook on the Lotto.
“I thought the lottery was just a bottomless pit where people were throwing away their hard-earned money, but today it has changed our lives,” she said.
The couple plan on helping charities and investing their winnings wisely.
“I’m not going to squander this money. I hope to be in the ranks of the Patrice Motsepes of this world in the future,” the winner said.
It was “gratifying” to hear his friends and colleagues talk about the Limpopo man who had won millions, not realising it was him.