17th of February 2010 Author: Glo Wood
Big winner expectations dashed
Imagine the scene: you think you have just won the biggest lottery prize yet in your country, changing forever the difficult life you and your family endure. It lasts for just long enough for you to take it all onboard....and then you are told that you were not the winner after all.
That's the acute disappointment which deaf mute cleaner Stanley Philander (52) was crushed by this week as Gidani lottery officials in South Africa battled to understand how the screw-up occurred on a massive Rands 91 million ($12 million) Powerball set of numbers.
Philander initially thought he had won the record-breaking jackpot , but lottery bosses said his ticket was not for the correct draw. He apparently played the winning numbers from Friday the following morning.
The real winner, a 43-year-old wife and mother of two also from the Western Cape who chose to remain anonymous, had the millions handed over to her on Tuesday.
Gidani CEO Bongani Khumalo said Philander failed to approach their offices even after Sunday's media reports of his huge win.
"We would have advised him to wait for the ticket on Saturday night, because that was what his ticket was valid for," he said.
Earlier, South African newspapers reporting on Philander's 'win' revealed that after being besieged by crowds seeking charity, Philander and his family had been moved from their home in a poor Cape Town neighbourhood to an undisclosed location. It was initally thought that this had been at the behest of lottery officials, but this is now unclear, and the family's whereabouts were still not known as InfoPowa went to press.
South Africa's lottery launched in October last year, and produced four multi-millionaires in its first month. Last Friday's record prize money was the result of 22 previous "roll-over" draws.
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