9/2/09 – The South African media are reporting the extraordinary story of a five-month-old lottery ticket that has changed the life of a local technician and his family in a major way.
It seems that the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, drove around for five months with a lottery ticket worth Rands 20 million (about GBP1.6 million or US$2.5 million) lying in the pocket of his car's door panel.
A spokeswoman for the lottery operator, Gidani, said the man had more than 50 tickets in his car at the time.
"I went to pick up my children from school and I happened to be early. That's when I decided to check my tickets," the winner told Gidani.
Gidani spokeswoman Thembi Tulwana takes up the tale: "Tucked into a pocket in the driver door panel for the past five months was a R20 million winning lotto jackpot ticket with the six correct numbers for a draw that took place on 28 March 2009."
She said the man took the tickets to a retailer to check the numbers as he had time to kill. Several of his fifty old tickets had winnings of between R30 and R100, but the last ticket to be checked came up with the big-win reading "Not authorised to pay."
The man subsequently took the ticket to the Gidani headquarters, where it was confirmed that he was now worth R20 million.
Tulwana says the stunned punter had prioritised settling his debts, after which he planned to renovate his home and ensure his children's future.
His R20 million bonanza cost him just R40 on a ‘quick pick' randomly chosen numbers ticket.
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