A number of lottery players in South Africa wept a foul on Tuesday when the Powerball numbers were presented in consecutive order.
The winning Powerball numbers on Tuesday were 05-06-07-08 and 09. The Powerball number that increases the jackpot was 10. These numbers were played by 20 people, who each received $372,791.40. Another 79 players who did not guess the Powerball number won $410.92 each.
In a tweet on Tuesday, the National Lottery Commission congratulated the winners. “These numbers may be unexpected, but we see many players who choose these sequences,” the tweet said in part.
Some social media users were not sure if the numbers were simply the luck of the draw. “Last night’s Powerball results,” tweeted Tech Central founder Duncan McLeod. “What?! Could this possibly be right? Or was there a software glitch? Or something else?”
Last night’s Powerball results. Last night’s Powerball results. Could this possibly be correct? Or was there a software error? Or something else? pic.twitter.com/XkGJHEEJPb
– Duncan McLeod (@mcleodd) December 2, 2020
According to the news agency AFP, Ndivhuho Mafela, the spokesman for the South Africa National Lotteries Commission (NLC), said that the draw is being investigated. Washington Newsday turned to the NLC for further comments.
The chances of winning South Africa’s Powerball are 1 in 42,375,200. Money will be added to the pot if no winning ticket is presented. There is no limit on how much money can be added to the jackpot.
While fraud has not yet been proven in the drawing of South Africa’s Powerball, the manipulation of lottery games is not unknown. In 2017, the former Information Technology Manager of the Multi-State Lottery Association of Iowa was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to manipulating the computer programs that selected the numbers for some lottery games.
By installing certain codes, Tipton was able to control which numbers were drawn on certain days. Tipton gave the numbers to family members and friends and sometimes shared the winnings among himself. Tipton and his brother Eddie received a total of $24 million from rigged lotteries in 5 states.
Some Americans have also been victims of lottery scams perpetrated by mail or e-mail. In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that people had lost approximately $121 million through fake lottery games.
In communications from scammers, people are told that they have won a prize. To collect their prize, the alleged winners are asked to pay some kind of fee in advance. Once the money is received from the victims, the alleged prize is never sent.
According to the FTC, no legitimate lottery or raffle requires participants to make a payment to receive a prize. “If you are unsure about a contest or organizer, try entering the company or product name into your favorite search engine using terms such as ‘verification’, ‘complaint’ or ‘fraud’,” the FTC said in a press release. “You can also check with your Attorney General or local consumer protection office.