Lotto was introduced as South Africa’s first national lottery game on Thursday 2nd March 2000. The game was publicly unveiled by President Thabo Mbeki at the Yeye Butchery in Langa, just outside Cape Town, and the first draw was held on Saturday 11th March 2000. Initially the lottery consisted of just one Saturday draw but, due to the popularity of the game, a Wednesday draw was added in October 2001.
How to Play
To play Lotto, players must choose six numbers from a pool of 52 and pay R5.00 per ticket. A Bonus Ball is selected at random after the six main numbers and boosts prizes for those who match it with two, three, four or five main numbers. Prizes range from a fixed R20 for matching two main numbers plus the Bonus Ball up to the jackpot for matching all six main numbers drawn. Lotto draws take place at 20.56 SAST on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Lotto has a total of eight winning prize tiers:
|Match||Percentage of Prize Fund||Odds of Winning|
|Match 6||73%||1 in 20,358,520|
|Match 5 + Bonus Ball||2.3%||1 in 3,393,087|
|Match 5||4%||1 in 75,402|
|Match 4 + Bonus Ball||5%||1 in 30,161|
|Match 4||8.4%||1 in 1,371|
|Match 3 + Bonus Ball||7.3%||1 in 1,028|
|Match 3||Fixed R50||1 in 72|
|Match 2 + Bonus Ball||Fixed R20||1 in 96|
|Overall odds of winning a Lotto prize are 1 in 38|
The South African Lotto jackpot starts at approximately R1 million and, if no player is able to match all six numbers to win the jackpot, the top prize rolls over to the next draw. There is no jackpot cap in place, which means that prizes can grow to substantial amounts.
The largest jackpot seen to date was R110 million for the draw on Saturday 27th January 2018 and was shared between four ticket holders. The biggest jackpot won by a single ticket holder was in the draw on 4th November 2017 and totalled R50.7 million.
Lotto players also have the option to take part in Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2 for the chance to win more great prizes.
Players have 365 days to claim their prize, with 50 percent of any unclaimed prizes allocated to the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund for the support of good causes across South Africa.
Playing Lotto Online
Playing South African Lotto online is quick and easy thanks to a lottery ticket concierge service. Simply visit the Buy Tickets page to read about how the service allows you to purchase tickets for lotteries both in South Africa and around the world.
Playing Lotto at a Retailer
You can buy South African Lotto tickets from authorised retailers across the country, but keep in mind that ticket sales close 30 minutes before the draw is held. When purchasing a ticket in this way, please ensure that you keep it safe as you will need to produce it should you win a prize. It is also strongly recommended that you sign the back of the ticket so that there is no question of ownership if the ticket is lost or stolen.