The Winner Used ‘Fafi’ To Pick Numbers
He matched the numbers 1, 15, 23, 24 and 25, plus PowerBall 4, to become the sole jackpot winner in the record-breaking draw on Friday 3rd August. He has begun the process of claiming his tax-free, nine-figure windfall by visiting Ithuba, South Africa’s National Lottery operator, in Johannesburg, alongside his 30-year-old wife.
The ecstatic winner has revealed he used ‘Fafi’ to pick his winning numbers for the draw, a ritual commonly referred to as ‘mo-china’ in South African townships. ‘Fafi’ links numbers to certain objects, associating the number 4 with a dead man, for example, and the winner said he picked the number 4 as his PowerBall after having a dream that a man was killed in a fight.
He placed a R5 PowerBall bet for the draw on Tuesday 31st July using the same numbers, but didn’t win a prize. He then paid R20 for a normal ticket, and R30 for an additional Quick Pick ticket, from the Total Garage gas station in Evander, Mpumalanga, for the following draw on Friday 3rd August. Whilst his Quick Pick ticket didn’t come through, the R20 bet was the jackpot-winning ticket worth R145 million.
He said: “I went there [to Total Garage] just before 8pm and played the same numbers because something was telling me that, hey, these are the numbers. I even prayed just before I paid for the ticket. I only checked my ticket on my phone around 2pm on Saturday and when I realised that only one person won the jackpot, I couldn't believe that I had won. I immediately told my wife who was busy cleaning the house.”
He revealed he kept the winning ticket in his sock for safe keeping in the evenings, explaining: “I kept it in my sock at night because I thought what about if thieves were to come in here. Not because they know anything… but take it.”
When he went to work during the day, he would store the ticket inside his boot. He added: “I kept on thinking that what if I was involved in a car accident. You know how people lose wallets in accidents, so it was safer there.”
Meeting Financial Advisors
The married couple, who have been together for 16 years, have been playing PowerBall since their high school days, and have said they would like to lead a normal life before quitting their jobs. He has said he will use some of his winnings to start up a few businesses, open some investment accounts, and help some of their family members. They plan to only let their parents know about their jackpot win.
The duo are now going to return to the South African National Lottery offices in Johannesburg for a meeting with psychologists, counsellors and financial advisors. These services are free of charge to all lottery winners of over R50,000 in the country.
Naledi Masopha, Ithuba’s Public Relations Manager, added: “What we do is that we start with the verification process to make sure it's the winning ticket and also verify the winner. Then we move to the appointment of financial advisors and psychological counsellors while the claim is being processed. But before the end of the week, the winner will have all his R145 million in his bank account, tax-free.”