As South Africans, it safe to assume most of us are more than familiar with the South African National Lotto draw that takes place each week. Many of us wait eargely for the numbers to be drawn each time in the hope our lives will change forever. It has become such a regular accurence in our lives that it may be difficult to think back to before it came about. The Lotto has played an imporant part in supporting the growth of the arts, sports and recreation as well as charities across the country.
The South African National Lotto has become the most popular type of gambling within the country and has been running for over 12 years have started back in 2000. Through strong marketing efforts with the aim of getting in touch with 80% of the country’s homes close to 70 million tickets were sold in the first three weeks alone and the first day generated sales of more than 800 000 tickets! In 2007 sales rose to five million each week totalling just under 4 billion Rand over the year. The percent of the takings that were paid to a central charitable distribution fund rose from 28% to 34% with 10% accounting for operational costs, 6% to retail commission and the remaining 50% being awarded as prize money.
Over the years changes and additions were made to the draw. A proposal to set up a daily lottery alongside the weekly draw known as Keno, was rejected after which the Lotto Plus game was launched in 2003. That same year, statistics revealed that more then 27% of players were unemployed and 43% earned less than R2000 a month however, on the other hand the move towards legalizing gambling had created over 50000 jobs back in 2000. A few years later further research was carried out in 2006 that showed more then 80% of South Africans played the South Africa National Lotto once a week with 53% of the players not being involved in any other form of gambling. On average South Africans have been spending around R80 on Lottery tickets a month.