So many people don’t claim their lottery winnings. Why is it so and how can this be avoided?
There are vast and varied reasons why millions of rands in lottery prizes are not claimed each and every year in South Africa. You might wonder why this happens – how in the hang can mense from Mzansi not claim what is rightfully theirs? Well, the answers are not exact science, but there are many solid theories about why this happens, effectively, in practice.
At the last count, there was in excess of R270 million in unclaimed lottery prize money about to expire. The biggest single winner among these was R7 million. Someone from Beaufort West, indeed, was about to be out of pocket of a hefty sum. Such a pity. There’s still time, though, but admittedly not much.
One of the chief reasons for winnings going unclaimed is the age-old problem of misplacement. People buy lottery tickets and then lose them. It’s not intentional, of course, but it’s as straightforward as that. Tickets fall out of pockets or get lost in all sorts of places. Just think about how often you possibly leave a slip of paper in your jacket or pants, which then head to the laundry. A ticket damaged by water or some other material can be irreparable and not considered legally binding in Powerball rules, for example.
There are some ways to avoid this happening. For a start, entering the lottery online means no real need for a physical ticket. The entry can be recorded digitally and that’s enough. This can also lead to the convenience of a quick pick selection, rather than having to manually write in numbers. Some people prefer this random act rather than a specific approach to numerical luck.
Another reason lottery wins go unclaimed just comes down to forgetfulness. A full few days might go by between the minute you bought a lottery ticket and when the draw happens. People lead busy lives. A lot can happen in a couple of days. If people just enter the lottery as a by the way, rather than as a central focus, they might not think to check if their numbers won anything. Those who enter the lottery as a regular practice, of course, are not likely to be prone to this sort of forgetfulness, no matter how busy they get in their day-to-day personal and professional lives.
There are also people who enter the lottery with the sole focus of winning the main jackpot. If they see they didn’t guess all the numbers right, they possibly don’t see what they perhaps won with fewer digits chosen correctly. A lot of South Africans might not know that there are prizes on lower tiers as well. Of course, the lower the level the smaller the prize, but these amounts can still be very big – relatively speaking.
Six-figure rand values are often up for grabs on the tiers just below the jackpot. This is not something you want to miss out on if, say, you guessed three or four digits correctly. The bonus ball can come into play in these tiers as well.
Check your numbers and tickets to avoid missing out on claiming that life changing money.