Lotto history

The year 1994 saw the launch of Lotto. It came to be known as the first-ever UK national lottery game. The timeline of Lotto has been going strong since then. The game has set smashing jackpot records and has held fantastic special events. The format of Lotto lottery games has seen numerous changes over time. It has been launched in many countries including South Africa where it was launched on 11th March 2000.

The tickets for the first-ever South African Lotto game went for sale on March 2, 2000. The then-president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, was the first one to buy a lottery ticket from Cape Town. The first game of the Lotto lottery ticket was played on March 11, 2000. It was astonishing to get the very-first winner of the lottery games in the second draw of the game itself. The jackpot lottery amount of R3,000,000 was shared between 6 people. One of them was Sharon Valentine, who was a 47-year-old single mom and a pre-primary school teacher.

A significant rebranding took place in the year 2002, to counter falling sales of lotteries. At this time, the change of names took place from the National Lottery to Lotto.

Originally the machines used to pick out the draws were the Criterion Model. These machines were manufactured by Smartplay International Inc., Camelot replaced the older machines with new ones on 21st November 2009. The Lotto machines which are currently used for the game are the Smartplay Magnum II model.

March 16, 2018, was a controversial day for the Lotto lottery games. A cyber-attack affected the accounts of 150 customers and Camelot had to advise their customers to modify their passwords.

A player must be at least 16 years old to play Lotto. The tickets should be bought personally by a player, either online or at licensed premises in South Africa. The draw for the Lotto games takes place twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

A whopping record-setting, jackpot amount of R13,831,850 was won by Batsirai Mupfawi on 8th April 2000. He was a chauffeur at that time and was studying for his exams. The ticket cost him only R5 and he won money worth millions after the rollover of the previous 3 draws. November 2018 saw a series of changes in the game of Lotto. Bigger cash prizes were awarded to players for all cash tiers beneath the jackpot. The initiation of a new rule took place which introduced a maximum of 5 rollovers for the jackpot before it is won.

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