South Africa’s national lottery has thrown up an interesting set of winning numbers – 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Twenty players managed to scoop the PowerBall jackpot, winning 5.7 million rand (£279,000) each, while another 79 won around 6,283 rand (£407) after guessing the sequence but not the PowerBall.
The combination of consecutive numbers has led to scrutiny on social media, with some South Africans accusing the draw of being “rigged”.
20 New Multi-Millionaires!
Congratulations to tonight’s 20 winners of PowerBall draw. These numbers may be unexpected but we see many players opt to play these sequences.
Could you be one of these winners? Check your tickets now!
— #PhandaPushaPlay (@sa_lottery) December 1, 2020
But the odds of drawing this set of numbers are just as likely as any other set of numbers – one in 42 million.
The national lottery provider tried to dispel fears the competition was fixed, writing on Twitter: “These numbers may be unexpected but we see many players opt to play these sequences.”
After calls for an investigation, the country’s National Lotteries Commission was also dismissive of the allegations.
“This occurrence, while uncommon, is not impossible, with the odds of any set of numbers selected for PowerBall being 1 in 42 million,” it said.
“The NLC would like to assure all South Africans that all National Lottery games and methods used to conduct draws undergo a rigorous process of review prior to approval by the NLC.
“This is to ensure that the National Lottery is conducted with integrity and all players are afforded an equal chance of winning prizes.”
It added that it had received a report on the unusual numbers from the lottery’s provider, Ithuba, and recommend it “maintains an educational campaign… on the possibilities of winning combinations, the odds of winning and how the RNG works, in order to keep players knowledgeable and to maintain the integrity of the National Lottery.”