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south african lotto winners who went broke

South Africa Biggest Lottery Winners Where Are They Now

There have been many major lottery winners in the relative short history of the South African Lotto, with millions paid out to countless lucky players across the country.

All these lottery winners get the money they have always wanted, but not all of them go onto lead the life they always wanted to lead. Some are lucky, investing wisely, spending carefully and keeping everything under control; others lose it all in a blaze of drugs, drink, greedy friends and bad investments.

From Misfortune to Fortune

A grandfather from Johannesburg went through a terrible time in the lead-up to 2017. He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and while he was undergoing treatment he also lost sight in one eye.

He lost his job, and his days looked numbered. Lady Luck seemed to have overlooked him, leaving him with barely enough money to feed his family. In the summer of 2017 his luck finally changed when he won the jackpot, scooping an impressive R17 million.

And that wasn’t all, as doctors then told him that his cancer was in remission. He was healthy again—for the most part at least—and he no longer had to worry about scraping together enough money to pay his bills.

Double Winner

A player from Limpopo won the South African National lottery in 2002, scooping an impressive R11 million. But while many players take their money and run, quitting their job and enjoying a lifetime in the sun, this player decided that 11 million wasn’t enough.

He continued to play the lottery, investing more and more money in pursuit of another big win, believing that if he could do it once then he could do it again. And his persistence paid off, as he won again in 2009, winning nearly three times as much money.

On both occasions he chose to remain anonymous, but we know enough about him to know that he didn’t waste his money. He used it to ensure the best possible future for his children and to build a successful business, which helped to provide financial stability and to keep his fortune strong when other lottery winners would be losing theirs.

Sibusiso Cebekhulu Loses it All Quickly

Sibusiso Cebekhulu is one of the biggest cautionary tales where the South African lottery is concerned. That’s not his real name, but it’s the one attributed to a player who scooped the jackpot in 2000 and then proceeded to blow every penny.

According to the former winner he was the “laughing stock” of his community, with teachers and parents using his story to teach children how not to manage money.

By 2004, just 4 years after he won R1.9 million, he had nothing left and was living with his parents. A newspaper who had visited at the time described the house to be very “modest” and even noted that his clothes were “worn-out”.

It is believed that Cebekhulu blew the money on drugs, drink, designer clothes, restaurants and hotels. He dined out in fancy restaurants every night, spent time in high-class hotels and spent money like there was no tomorrow. But there definitely was a tomorrow and when it finally arrived Sibusiso Cebekhulu found himself penniless and bemoaning his extravagant spending.

Like so many lottery winners before him, Sibusiso Cebekhulu claimed that his friends began asking for handouts at every opportunity, with new friends and old friends coming out of the woodwork to make all kinds of requests. He gave loads away, wrote off cars and, at one point, was even hijacked.

Another Fall From Grace

Sibusiso Cebekhulu’s story was also mirrored by Patrick Dladla, a Melmoth resident who won over R1.4 million in 2002. At 49, Dladla was a little older and you could be forgiven for thinking that he was wiser when it came to spending his money, but it went just as quickly and easily.

Most of Dladla’s money went on cars, but after he also began loaning large amounts to friends and family, people who promised to pay him back but still owed him money years later, his fortune soon dwindled away to nothing.

Just 2 years after his big win and his spending spree, Dladla had sold his house and all of his cars and was left with nothing but the memories of his fortune and everything it had given him, as well as a number of friends and family members who owed him a lot of money.

According to lottery experts, the stories told by Patrick Dladla and Sibusiso Cebekhulu are far from unique. Many of their biggest jackpots end up in the hands of people who have been poor and even destitute throughout their lives, and when they finally get the money they have always dreamed of, they just don’t know what to do with it.

Someone who struggles to get hundreds and gets excited at the prospect of thousands, thinks that anything in the millions will last forever. But as these stories prove, that is just not the case.

From Unemployed to Millionaire

Lotteries really can change lives for the better, as was proved when an unemployed 30-year old man from Durban invested just R60 in the South African National Lottery and went on to win a jackpot of R34.4 million.

The first thing that this lucky winner wanted to do was buy himself a home, an opportunity that had not presented itself to him prior to the win and one he likely thought would never happen. He also made sure that his family were financially secure, buying a house for his parents and repaying their love and trust with financial stability.

This heart-warming story does not have a bad ending. He didn’t blow all of his money on poor decisions, drugs and drink. He simply used it to provide himself and his loved ones with the sort of security that had alluded them to that point. It’s the sort of thing that all lottery players tell themselves they will do, but something that often gets lost in the chaos of celebration, drugs, fast cars and handouts.

South Africa Biggest Lottery Winners Where Are They Now There have been many major lottery winners in the relative short history of the South African Lotto, with millions paid out to countless

6 Shocking stories about South African lotto winners who are now broke

You would think that if someone wins the lotto they will be set for the rest of their lives. I guess it all depends on the amount that they’ve won. Some lotto winners plan to use their winnings for the rest of their lives, but not everyone sticks to their plans.

For most people it would be a dream come true. To give you and your family a better life, or to start your own business. Who wouldn’t grab such an opportunity with both hands?

Some winners, when they have an overnight 7-digit bank balance, decide to live in the moment and all the budget plans fly out the back door. And for every lotto jackpot winner-story that started with big dreams, you are likely to hear that it didn’t work out as planned and that the winner ended up broke.

We’ve done some research to see if we can find South African lotto winners who are now broke.

Unlike overseas media it is not as easy to find South African lotto winners, it is unlikely for winners to give permission to go public with their winnings.

Here is a list of some South African lotto winners who unfortunately had to go back to their previous lifestyle and who are even worse off than where they were before they’ve hit the jackpot.

South African lotto winners who are now broke

1. KwaZulu Natal winner won R1,9 million, 2000

This lucky winner has nothing to show for his big win except a broken heart and a lot of regrets. After winning, he refused expertise financial advice offered to him. Between 2000 and 2004 he went through 7 cars and his attempt to start a business almost ended up in tragedy when he was shot twice during a hijacking.

He spent his winnings on luxury vehicles, drugs, alcohol, sex and some fine dining at Durban’s finest restaurants and hotels. The only things that he has to show from his winning money is a DVD, a dining room suite and a TV set for his mother. He also made some improvements at his parents’ home. He said that if he could win the lotto again, he would stay away from bad company and invest most of his money.

2. KwaZulu Natal winner won R1,4 million, 2002

Similar to the previous winner, unfortunately for this guy, he also had bad friends and greedy relatives. He also spent his winnings on luxury cars, he used to be the owner of 4 vehicles and does not even own a car now. He even had to sell his 3-bedroomed house that he bought with his winnings. According to him there are still friends and family members who owe him a lot of money.

3. Western Cape winner won R6,7 million, 2003

After winning the jackpot at the age of 18 this lucky gentleman unfortunately turned to a life of drugs and crime after losing all his winnings. Ten years later he was sentenced to 28 years in prison for murder.

4. Limpopo winner won R6,1 million, 2006

After 10 years he has nothing to show but a partially renovated house and two broken second-hand tractors. When he won, he invested R4m and used the rest to renovate his house, bought 3 vehicles and 2 tractors. Unfortunately, he no longer owns any of the cars.

According to the winning couple their win was a curse. It destroyed their family and none of the children get along anymore.

One of their sons was shot dead. According to newspaper reports, one of the other sons, an ex-cop was convicted of defrauding his parents of millions. The money vanished from the winner’s bank account, and the surviving brother claims that his murdered brother was behind the theft.

5. North West winner won R1,8 million, 2008

He spent all his money in just 4 years. He built his mother a house of approx. R800 000. He bought himself a new cell phone, new clothes and 4 vehicles, 2 of which he lost in accidents and the other 2 he couldn’t afford the maintenance on and had to sell them. He invested some of the money but withdrew it after a year.

The father of 4 is now unemployed and lives with his mother and relies on money from friends and family every month. He admitted that he should’ve listened to the financial advisor and invested his money.

6. KwaZulu Natal winner won R10,4 million, 2009

A former police officer quickly left the police force to start his new life and spent his winnings on fast cars, entertaining friends and buying properties and businesses. After divorcing his wife there was R2,5 million left in their joint account after she received half of it. He invested his portion in a chicken franchise and after not abiding to the franchise rules he lost everything.

In 2014 he was also facing charges of theft and impersonating a police officer. He has nothing to show for his big win and was sharing a tiny flat with 2 siblings in 2014.

They say that you should learn from someone else’s mistakes. These are expensive mistakes to learn from. From these South African Lotto winners’ stories, one thing is for sure, if and when you win the lotto, avoid going broke by doing the following:

  1. Plan ahead, take things slow.
  2. Get expert advice and professional guidance.
  3. Be careful where and with whom you invest your money.
  4. Have your budget in place and stick to it.
  5. Plan for the unforeseen future for you and your family.

Find out what lotto winners spent their money on and left them broke. Spend your winnings wisely, thought it might be easier said than done.