According to the Public Protector, investigations have determined that a Pretoria man did not win the R42-million Lotto jackpot in 2016.
After purchasing a lotto ticket, Alex Magagula claimed to have won the jackpot on September 9, 2016. However, the lotto machine malfunctioned when he tried to redeem the ticket at a retailer in Gezina, Pretoria.
Magagula then visited the Sinoville post office the following day, where he was paid R37 instead of the R42-million prize he expected.
The Public Protector became involved in October 2018 after allegations were made against the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition (DTIC) for failing to address Magagula’s complaint against the National Lotteries Commission (NLC).
During a media briefing on June 30, the Public Protector released the investigation’s outcome. Acting Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka revealed that the initial terminal in Gezina did not validate Magagula’s ticket and was only validated at the Sinoville post office. She confirmed that the correct amount of R37.50 was paid to him.
Ithuba Holdings, the National Lottery operator, also verified that Magagula’s ticket was not a jackpot winner, as claimed. They explained that the jackpot was won at a later date and not at the time he purchased the ticket. The details were communicated to Magagula’s attorney.
The NLC emphasised the presence of security mechanisms, including lotto machines programmed not to pay out large sums of money. In such cases, the machine would print a coupon instructing the winner to go to Ithuba’s offices. These measures prevent the secret swapping of winning tickets.
Gcaleka concluded the investigation, stating that the evidence did not support allegations against the DTIC. The matter is considered closed by the Public Protector’s office.
Any dissatisfied party has the option to pursue legal remedies available to them.
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Photo: Supplied by Rekord