Thursday, January 19, 2017

Lottery success: A numbers game

Many of us are very superstitious about lottery numbers. We always pick the same numbers (our "lucky" numbers), or we pick the numbers in our children's birthdates. We also know a few people who buy lottery tickets when their palms itch (a sign that money's on its way, they say).
Some of us look for guidance in the esoteric, or inside fortune cookies.

One really lucky chap asked for divine intervention and then dreamed about lottery numbers. The next day, he played those numbers, and he won US$189 million in the October 2013 Mega Millions Jackpot. He told news reporters that he had prayed for good luck. And that in his dream, his relatives told him which winning numbers to pick.

There are also times when going against superstition brings great reward. While many lottery players would avoid picking the number 13, or playing the lottery on Friday the 13th, Kelsey Zachow did the opposite. She bought a ticket on Friday the 13th, and it paid off: She won a whopping $56 million the 2013 Michigan Lottery!

So, it seems there's more to numbers than we might have thought.
Indeed, if we look at the numbers that have won in the last few years, it's clear that some numbers are, well, luckier than others.

We looked at the stats from the South African National Lottery for the last six years (i.e. 2000 - 2016), and here's what we found:

Which are the five luckiest numbers in South Africa?
How many times it's been drawn

Which four numbers, picked together, are the luckiest in South Africa?
Number combination
How many times it's been drawn
7, 11, 43, 44
7, 11, 20, 27
2, 8, 14, 41
5, 12, 17, 30
4, 9, 35, 36

Which numbers are picked the least in South Africa?
How many times it's been drawn

USA Lotto: Which numbers are the most popular?
We also looked at the figures for the USA's Lotto, and found that the most popular main numbers are as follows:
How many times it's been drawn

Which are the luckiest - and unluckiest - numbers in the world?
The six most frequently drawn numbers in seven lotteries around the world (i.e. Canada, Spain, Germany, Poland, South Africa, the UK and Greece):  33, 6, 38, 40, 49, 7.
The six least frequently drawn numbers across these seven lotteries are: 13, 28, 5, 21, 36, 8.
Now you know which numbers are lucky, and which ones aren't. And maybe you'll increase your chances of winning, by picking these numbers more often.
You CAN win today! Play the lottery of your choice online with .

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Thursday, December 01, 2016

Beware: the email that empties your bank account

Imagine getting an email that tells you that you've won millions. And all you have to do, to get those millions transferred neatly into your bank account, is reply to the sender with some information. It seems so simple and it's so irresistible.

But if you do reply, you'll find your bank account emptied, rather than bursting with cash. Because these emails - called phishing emails or 419 scam emails - are scams, designed to get innocent people like you to hand over your bank details and personal information. And if you do, they'll tell you to travel to a particular destination (at your own expense), to meet their representative and collect your prize.

But you'll find no such representative there. And the crooks will have used your personal information to gain access to your bank account, and empty it out. Once they've got your money, you'll never get it back.

Here's how the crooks get away with it:
·         The emails "look" real: The fraudsters align themselves, illegally, to real lottery companies. They'll even go so far as to use the companies' logos in the email letterhead and sign-off. Failing that, they invent a very legitimate-sounding business name (like Euro Winner Lotteries), and hope that the reader won't get suspicious.
·         The emails "sound" real: The emails read like professional and credible notices. However, in many cases, there are small grammatical or spelling errors which may tip you off.
·         The contact details shared in the email look credible: You're told to contact a Ms So-and-So, at some professional sounding office address. But in reality, this person is a cover for the criminal.

Here's what you need to know about these scams, so that you never fall victim to them.

·         If you didn't buy a lottery ticket, you can't win the prize
Think about it: If you didn't buy a lottery ticket, how would you be able to win the prize? And even if you did win, why would the company email you, rather than calling you in person?
And what if you did buy a lottery ticket (you can buy them online these days)? Then read the small print on your ticket and follow the instructions shared there for prize collection. You'll speak to someone who can verify whether or not your ticket was a winning one.

·         The email's from someone you don't know
Your parents warned you about strangers, when you were little. These strangers exist online too, and you should avoid them and their emails. Just because they've chosen to email you (rather than approach you on the street) doesn't make them any less dangerous.

·        The email asks you to share a lot of personal information
Even when you do win a cash prize, the company awarding the prize isn't going to ask you what your occupation or your home phone number is. But the crooks want this info - along with your ID number and also your bank account information - since it gives them direct access to your savings, as well as the ability to use your identity to commit fraud.
NEVER share your personal information with anyone over email.

What to do when you get this email?
Firstly, make sure you never respond to the emails.
Contact your local government; they usually have organisations set up to investigate these. You'll have to send them the original email, and any other documents relating to the email. They'll do what they can to investigate the matter.

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Friday, November 18, 2016

When the win is simply too good to be true...

Your odds of winning the Lotto are less than one in a million (sometimes, substantially less than that!). Yet you still buy the lottery ticket. Because if you win, your life will be transformed. You can pay off the house, get rid of debts, secure your children's' education and look after your aging parents. Goodbye, stress and strife!

The question is, what would you do if you bought the winning lottery ticket? Who would you tell? What would your victory dance look like? What would you do with your winnings?

One recent Lotto Powerball jackpot winner (who has remained anonymous) was so surprised when he realised that he was holding the winning ticket, he kept quiet about it for over a week!

So who was this lucky chap? He worked as a public servant in Limpopo, South Africa. He'd been buying the R20 lottery ticket every week, for 16 years. And every week, his wife told him he was crazy. She believed the lottery was a waste of money, since the odds are stacked so high against the ticket holder. And he almost started believing her!

But when he saw that the jackpot had swelled to an astounding R87 million, he knew he had to try his luck. He asked his wife to help him pick out numbers, but she refused. He stopped in at the Global Filling Station in Mokopane to buy a lottery ticket. A mere fifteen minutes before the cut off, he handed over R20, and took a lottery ticket.

It looked like any other lottery ticket. It felt like any other lottery ticket.

But when the winning numbers were announced, he knew that this ticket was his one-in-a-million dream come true. Because with it, he'd won a whopping R87 million. This is the fourth highest cash prize in the history of the South African lottery!

He almost didn't believe it. In fact, he was so shocked, he kept his win a secret - for over a week! Finally, he broke the news to his wife, who also couldn't believe his luck. She broke out in a gospel hymn!

Finally, the winner took the winning ticket to the offices of the Ithuba National Lottery, to lay claim to his life-altering prize. He admitted it was all so surreal, it had taken him a few days to get used to the idea.

Interestingly, this winner had modest plans for his millions. He said he wanted to make charitable donations and then invest his cash wisely. He had no intentions of quitting his job, or going on wild shopping sprees.

We can't help but wonder, how he's doing, and whether he stuck to this plan!

You could be a winner, too! Play the lottery online with

Further reading:

R10M Rand Lottery Winner Arrested for robbery
Riches to Rags Lottery Story in South Africa
How to handle winning big in South Africa
Trail of debt for South Africa's BIG lottery winner

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Seven jackpot losers that taught us how NOT to spend our jackpot winnings

Everybody dreams about winning the lottery! But can you imagine losing all your winnings?

Expert financial advisors will tell you that winning a huge lump sum can be overwhelming and depressing if you are not well equipped to manage the money correctly. Many winners have lost their fortunes through lavish spending on everything from luxury handbags and shoes to cars, wild parties and new drug habits.

It's so important to invest your winnings wisely so that they can serve you well.
Take a look at these seven big winners, who (infamously) lost it all.

Billie Bob Harrell Jr.
Billie Bob was working at Home Depot, in the USA, when he won the Texas Lottery Lotto jackpot and bagged about US$31 million. He promptly quit his job and splurged on homes, church donations and gifts for friends and family. But he depleted his winnings so fast, that a few months after his winnings he was broke. Sadly, he took his own life.

Michael Carroll
The Englishman was just 19 years old (working as a waste collector) when he won the UK National Lottery in 2002 - a sum of over £9.7 million! But today, just over a decade later, Carroll is working in a cookie factory, earning minimum wage because he lost his fortunes. He spent it all on homes, jewellery, cars and parties! Plus, he had a long list of criminal offences to his name.

Evelyn Adams
Adams won the New Jersey Lottery not once, but twice in 1985 and 1986. She raked in winnings of over US$5.4 million in total. But her compulsive gambling habit (and the cash gifts she made to family and friends) emptied her bank account. By 2001, Adams' was broke and living in a trailer.

Barry Shell
In 2009, Shell won $4 million in Canada's Ontario lottery. He literally used his last dollars to buy the lottery ticket! But at the time, police had a warrant for arrest out on Shell; he was wanted on charges of theft and possession of stolen property. And when police saw a photo of him accepting his prize, they located him and arrested him. Shell gave his winnings to a relative, before going to jail.

Abraham Shakespeare
Shakespeare was a working-class American man when he won US$17 million in the 2006 jackpot. He befriended DeeDee Moore, who pretended to have an interest in Shakespeare's wellbeing. She told him she would help him protect his winnings since friends and family had lined up for handouts. She convinced Shakespeare to transfer the money to her account, before killing him.

Related Articles on Abraham Shakespeare

Sharon Tirabassi
Tirabassi was a single mum, living off welfare checks when she won $10 million in the Ontario Lottery. She spent the money on designer clothes, wild parties, travel, handouts to family, mansions and flashy cars. It wasn't long before she had depleted the cash, and was forced to return to part-time work and living in a rented house. At least she had the good sense to put some of the cash into a trust for her children!

Vivian Nicholson
Nicholson won £152 00 back in 1961 and declared she would "spend, spend, spend!". She did exactly that, blowing her winnings on cars, high fashion and holidays abroad. And by the early 19702, she was broke. She ended up living on a measly pension and was looking for jobs.

You don't have to be the winner who loses, so spectacularly! Make sure you consult a financial advisor and a lawyer if you win big so that you can manage your winnings smartly.

You CAN win today! Play the lottery of your choice online with

You may also be interested in:

Five winners who quickly lost it all
Fake Christmass Winner!

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