Jackpot winners are often confronted with the challenge of choosing between continuing to work and quitting. How did past winners deal with this question?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to win the lottery and what you would do, personally and professionally, if you won?

There are several instances across South Africa and, indeed, the world of winners making major life changes on the back of their big cash victories.

Some went on lovely overseas holidays, others invested in property, education, cars, houses, travel – there are plenty of expansive examples of how people have spent their lottery winnings.

But what of their work? Who has or has not quit their job or changed their employment, to some degree or another, in the wake of winning the lottery.

In October 2020, a Free State man opted to retire early after winning R121 million in the SA Powerball. The sum was enough for him to decide to stop work. For others, this might not be the case.

“I do not intend to continue working, I have worked hard enough and I am grateful to be granted an opportunity to retire earlier than I was expecting, without worrying about finances. My wife, however, has been longing to complete her degree, and I vow to support her on that,” he said at the time.

On the other hand, the winner of the biggest jackpot in the history of the SA Powerball decided to keep on working despite his R232 million success. The 50-year-old man from Cape Town was a general worker and was quite straightforward about how he would continue his job as a general worker.

“If I quit now, it will be suspicious. I will keep my job and carry on like normal. We are not going to live for the world to see that we are rich,” said the man, who chose to remain anonymous and only tell a few of his big win.

Still wondering if you would quit your job if you won the lottery? Here are some more reference points.

In late 2019, a man from Johannesburg welcomed a R6 million windfall from the Lotto. The sum was not as big as some of the hefty digits that have been churned out among record Lotto wins – and it also was not enough to have the man quit his job. He planned to continue working.

“I plan to settle my debts and live a debt-free life, and ensure that my children get the best education available. I will also invest some of the money in business; and also donate some of it to a shelter for the homeless in my community,” he said then.

In May 2021, there was the Western Cape man who landed a R13 million win in the lottery. The first of May is a public holiday in South Africa. It celebrates Workers’ Day. For this man, he planned to remain among the country’s workers despite the big win.

“My wife and I want to save a huge portion of our earnings. I don’t plan on leaving my job as I earn a very good salary, however, the winnings will make a difference in our lives.. First I want to pay off my debts, renovate my children’s bedrooms and buy myself a brand new car,” he said.



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