Ticket for record Powerball haul tucked into sock for safekeeping

Winner treads cautiously

The winner of Friday's R146m kept his winning ticket hidden in a sock.
The winner of Friday's R146m kept his winning ticket hidden in a sock.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

Where would you keep a winning lottery ticket for R145m?

In your sock‚ of course, the young Secunda engineer who scooped the record Powerball jackpot on Friday says.

“I kept it in my sock at night because I thought about what if thieves were to come in here [and] take it‚” the man said.

Even as he reported for duty on Monday‚ the ticket was still safely tucked in his boot.

“I kept on thinking, what if I was involved in a car accident.

“You know how people lose their wallets in accidents‚ so it was safer there‚” he said.

The man was speaking on Tuesday afternoon at the Ithuba offices, where he and his 30-year-old wife came to claim their winnings.

The couple have asked that they not be identified.

The man said he was in disbelief when he found out on Saturday afternoon that he was the sole winner of the jackpot.

He had been lying in bed after a nap when he decided to go onto the internet on his phone and check his ticket against the winning numbers.

He instantly knew that he had won and casually informed his wife.

His wife said: “He said‚ ‘I’ve won the Lotto.’ But then he said he was joking.

“I could see he just wasn’t himself, and then he told me.”

They tried to act as normally as possible throughout the weekend‚ wary of sharing the news with anyone.

“On Saturday‚ we [went nowhere].

“I was even afraid to go out, just in case something happened to me‚” the man said.

But how did he pick the lucky winning numbers?

Good old Fafi‚ better known as “mo-china” in the townships.

“I used my dreams for guidance‚” he said.

Fafi associates numbers with certain objects and characteristics – for example‚ it associates the number four with a dead man.

The winner said he had dreamt of people fighting and a man being killed – which led him to pick 4 as his Powerball number.

On Tuesday last week‚ he had bet on the same numbers with R5, but did not win.

And so on Friday, he headed to the Total garage in Evander where he bought a R20 ticket with numbers he had chosen and a R30 Quickpick ticket.

The young couple said they had not expected their winnings to be totally tax-free.

“I expected to get about R90m after tax‚” the man said.

The couple‚ who have no debt except for their car‚ want to lead as normal a life as possible before quitting their jobs.

He wants to establish a few businesses and put some money into investment accounts.

They plan to let only their parents know.

“The money scares me. I don’t know what it would take for me to play the Lotto again‚” the winner said.

“All I can say is people must just keep playing the Lotto.

“They should take chances.”

The couple said while the win secured generational wealth‚ it did not mean there would be handouts to family.

“I want to see them all working‚ affording their lifestyles,” the man said.

“I don’t want them to rely on me. I am willing to invest in their business plans but not necessarily give them cash.”

They will return to the Ithuba offices on Wednesday for a meeting with psychologists and financial advisers.