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Lottery Rollovers Explained

A lottery rollover is a mechanism used to carry a jackpot forward to the next draw when it is not won. Rollovers help to create huge jackpots and they are used in most National Lottery games in South Africa. Find out more about which games you'll find rollovers in and how they work.

How Rollovers Work

A rollover takes effect when none of the tickets purchased for a draw match all of the winning numbers. As the jackpot has not been won, it moves forward - or 'rolls over' to the next draw.

The value of the jackpot subsequently gets even larger, as it also includes additional funds generated by ticket sales for the next draw.

It is the revenue raised by ticket sales which creates a lottery prize fund. For each game, the prize fund is split so that each division receives a specific percentage.

The next jackpot is announced in advance of each draw, based on how many tickets are expected to be sold. This is an estimated value, so the final figure can be higher or lower.

The top prize can continue to roll over until it is won unless there are limits in place on how high it can go.

The South African Lotteries That Use Rollovers

The majority of National Lottery games do have rollovers. The following table lists all of the National Lottery games and whether the top prize rolls over or not.

Lottery Does the Jackpot Roll Over?
Daily Lotto No
Lotto Yes
Lotto Plus 1 Yes
Lotto Plus 2 Yes
PowerBall Yes
PowerBall Plus Yes
Raffle No
Sportstake 8 Yes
Sportstake 13 Yes

The jackpots work differently in those games which do not have rollovers. In the Raffle, there is no possibility of a rollover because all of the prizes are guaranteed to be won. Everyone who buys a ticket receives a different unique number, and only those numbers are entered into the final draw. In Daily Lotto, the jackpot has to be won in every draw. If nobody matches all of the winning numbers, the top prize is split between players in the next division.

Why Do Some Lotteries Have Rollovers?

Rollovers are a great way to create even more excitement. Without them, the top prize in a game would always stay at the same amount.

As jackpots grow larger, more players buy tickets. It is normal to see an acceleration in how the jackpot jumps up from one draw to the next as it gets higher. For example, PowerBall typically increases by $5 million to $10 million when it is on the start of a roll, but it has been known to grow by more than $20 million once it soars past $100 million.

The more tickets that are sold, the quicker the jackpot rises and the more money is raised for good causes. Rollovers therefore have a positive impact on generating funds for worthy projects.

PowerBall Rollovers

There is no jackpot cap or rollover limit on PowerBall. The jackpot rolls over until at least one player matches all of the numbers, regardless of how long this takes. From 23 November 2018 until 19 February 2019, the jackpot rolled over 24 times to set a new record of R232 million. One player eventually matched all the numbers to land the full amount, and if they had not done so the jackpot would have carried on rolling over.

PowerBall Plus works the same way, with the jackpot rolling over until it is won.

Lotto Rollovers

The Lotto jackpot starts at approximately R1 million, although the exact amount depends on ticket sales, and rolls over if it is not won. The rollovers continue if no tickets match all of the numbers. It is common for the jackpot to roll over for weeks or even months at a time, producing prizes that can be worth tens of millions of rand.

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