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Strange Lottery Prizes

Six of the craziest lottery prizes in the world

1. Bitcoin prize

Cryptocurrency is becoming more and more popular. There is even a Bitcoin Lotto these days. The value of one Bitcoin is approximately R400,000, so winning even three could make you a millionaire. Whether Ethereum is ever used in lottery draws, though, remains in the balance. "Our view is that Ethereum has some performance issues that make it unsuitable for the kind of thing we’re doing," said Crypto Millions Lotto chief executive officer Sulim Malook recently.

2. Scholarship reward

While South Africa struggles with its vaccine rollouts, Ohio in the United States of America has its so-called Vax-a-Million draw in full swing. Governor Mike DeWine launched the lottery earlier this year, to encourage residents to get Covid-19 vaccinations. Full scholarships are among the prizes. "I'm more than happy - very, very happy - with the results," said DeWine.

3. Hotel stay jackpot

Apps like Tinder, Bumble, OKCupid, Badoo, Plenty of Fish and Grindr offer reasonable value for their intended purposes, but perhaps none more so than Forget Dinner. In 2014, the United Kingdom dating platform launched the Sex Lottery - for users who "aren't fussed about food." The main prize was a night in an upmarket hotel suite, complete with pole-dancing apparatus, ceilings with mirrors and other provocative features.

4. Pope visit

The esteemed Pope Francis once visited the USA in 2015. At the time, the opportunistic city of Philadelphia held a lottery, which effectively gave everyone entered an equal opportunity to meet the pope. Bronx resident Carmen Esteras won the only ticket to attend the joint meeting of congress with His Holiness. In a South African context, this would be like someone from Gauteng winning a ticket to visit Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

5. Bacon bonanza

If you've been to Bacon on Brie in Cape Town or purchased delicious pork products from a local butcher in Pofadder, you're probably a fan of bacon. This is right up your alley. The Indiana State Lottery held the Bringing Home the Bacon draw in the past. The scratch cards were scented with bacon and a prize alternative to cash was a supply of bacon for two decades. Just think how many scrumptious BLTs (bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwiches) one could make with 20 years of free bacon.

6. Big-ticket beer

Beer, indeed, goes well with a BLT. We've got it good in South Africa, with Jack Black, CBC, Mad Dog and other award-winning craft beers available widely and relatively inexpensively. What we don't have, though, is a beer lottery. Kern River Brewery in California, USA, ostensibly did. Their popular Citra Double IPA was in such high demand that they had prospective customers register on their website, which in turn afforded new patrons the right to buy a maximum of 6 bottles of the premium beer. Each bottle cost the equivalent of approximately R800, so a six-pack would set you back almost R5,000. Every single sip, therefore, would really need to be savoured.