Extraordinary coincidence or evidence of something fishy going on?
Everyone is sharing their opinion on the jaw-dropping outcome of the South African PowerBall draw on Tuesday, which saw the winning numbers of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 drawn.
Even more bizarre is that 20 players had procured the winning ticket, picking such a sequence of numbers would be considered strange in many other lotteries around the world.
It is extremely rare for the PowerBall jackpot to be shared by so many individuals, who each pocketed a huge 5.7 million South African Rand – that is roughly £278,000.
And that has led to a call for further investigation, with many alleging foul play. The National Lotteries Commission (NLC) of South Africa has confirmed that they will be investigating the ‘unprecedented’ draw, and would report back with its findings soon.
But have the lunatics taken over the asylum? It turns out that the NLC is far from black-and-white in its own dealings….
Fraud and Corruption….Allegedly
It was back in 2019 that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) was forced to investigate the actions of the NLC, with specific regard to the grants paid out to so-called ‘good causes’.
We say so-called, because it turns out some were anything but….
It was alleged that the Commission was paying hundreds of million in Rand in charitable donations to a variety of causes, with investigative journalists uncovering a tangled web of deceit which hinted at the possibility that NLC employees were directly benefiting.
The DTI had rejected a report from the NLC that claimed that the Lotteries Chief Operating Officer, Philemon Letwaba, had declared a conflict of interest when a 15 million Rand construction contract was awarded to a company in which his brother was a director. The project earned a total of 27.5 million Rand in lottery grants, and a not-inconsiderable 20 million Rand of that fund remains unaccounted for.
The DTI called for a full forensic audit of all the paperwork relating to the construction project, with NLC staff sensationally thought to have tried to prevent auditors from accessing some documentation into the deal.
More worryingly, the board of the NLC has an annual budget of 140 million Rand to hand to selected projects, which don’t have to make a grant application in order to receive the funds. That lack of a paper trail is alarming to say the very least.
This ‘proactive fund’ has been described as shady by DA spokesperson Dean Macpherson, who called for a full review of the NLC’s donations. “We know that there are shady characters that exist in the murkiness of proactive funding,” he said.
“There are some serious questions that exist within the proactive funding model. The only way to deal with this is to institute a forensic audit into all transactions that have taken place through the proactive fund.”
Just How Rare Was This Lottery Win?
It’s worth remembering that all lottery numbers have the same chance of being drawn as one another, and so the 5-10 sequence is just as possible as a randomly selected set of numbers anywhere from 1-49.
Indeed, your chance of picking the winning lottery numbers is around 1 in 42 million….no matter which digits you opt for.
The operator of the PowerBall draw, Ithuba, claims that many players pick six consecutive numbers on their tickets, and that the 5-10 sequence is just as likely as any other. Indeed, another 79 ticket holders had picked 5-9 correctly, but missed off 10 as their PowerBall pick.
In the UK lottery, similar patterns have been seen. Back in January 1995, a huge 133 players all won the jackpot with the same numbers – 7, 17, 23, 32, 38 and 42.
You might be thinking that something scandalous was in the air there – that is until you realise those numbers form the central column of the play slip, and so the individuals would have simply crossed off a straight line vertically on their page.
These lucky players could tell friends and family they had won the lottery….albeit *just* £122,000.
In March 2016, some 4,082 players got five numbers on their tickets from a selection of 7, 14, 21, 35, 41 and 42 – up from the 30 players who had matched five the week before.
Did you note the pattern? Five of the digits were multiples of seven, which for many is a lucky number. They ended up winning just £15 each….