Fraud allegations have surfaced following an unusual incident in which 20 people won a share of the jackpot in the South Africa’s national lottery.
The consecutive numbers 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and a ‘PowerBall’ number 10 were the winning combination of the Lottery on Tuesday night.
Twenty lucky players hit the jackpot and won 5.7 million rand (€307,600) each by guessing the sequence as well as the PowerBall. Another 79 won around 6,283 rand (€340) for guessing the sequence, but they failed to guess the PowerBall.
While it is not uncommon for two players to share the jackpot, multiple winners are very rare. And so the unusual sequence of numbers drawn by South Africa’s national lottery has left players stunned.
Many South Africans took to social media alleging the results had been fixed. “20 people discussed this and shared that jackpot equally. Absolutely no way in hell that’s a coincidence,” posted one Twitter user.
Some even called for a judicial quest similar to the one on suspected corruption during the nine-year term of ex-president Jacob Zuma.
Meanwhile the lottery tweeted late on Tuesday, congratulating all 20 lucky winners. “These numbers may be unexpected but we see many players opt to play these sequences,” they added.
At the same time, South Africa’s National Lotteries Commission (NLC), which regulates the game, said the combination of six consecutive numbers was unprecedented and promised to look into the draw.
It’s common for two players to share the jackpot, but multiple winners are extremely rare. According to a South African website, 33 players won a share of the jackpot in March 2003.