A 34-year-old Zimbabwean man is on top of the world right now after he scooped the R12m (USD 850 000) South African national lottery jackpot, Ithuba on Wednesday.
The man who will not be named for his own protection revealed that this was only the second time that he had played the lottery, with his first punt netting him R200.
He also told the Timeslive that he had grown up in poverty in Zimbabwe. In an interview, he said,
A few weeks ago, I decided to give lotto a try for the first time and I won just over R200. I decided to play again. I did not think much about the numbers, I just randomly selected them. I could not believe it when I learnt that I had a winning ticket. I won R12m!
My parents passed away when I was still very young and my sister had to step in as a mother figure to my siblings and me. Growing up in a child-headed home was tough – the poverty just never improved.
When I was in my early twenties, my friend who was already living and working in Durban suggested that I come to look for work in South Africa to help ease my circumstances at home. I stayed in Durban for five years and during that time I worked a lot of different casual and domestic jobs.
…This move changed my life. I was able to rent a decent place and was able to help my family back home to have food on the table every day. I thought that my life could not get better than that,