Meet the Youngest Lottery Winners
Although the prospect of winning the lotto is incredibly tantalising at any age, there is something particularly special about winning this ultimate prize when you are just starting out in life. After all, imagine how different your life could have played out if you were coming into adulthood with a bank balance in the hundreds of thousands or even in the millions!
For many of the lotto winners across the world, this is precisely what happened. And for this lucky crop of the youngest lotto winners, they managed to strike gold and get an incredible financial advantage just as they were starting out in life.
Being a teenage lottery winner or someone who wins the prize in their young adult years gives these individuals an unrivalled opportunity to make life decisions free from financial constraints or worries. And whilst living a life of luxury would certainly be a worthy prize, having the opportunity to study or work without having to worry about money is arguably far more valuable.
Out of all the lottery winners we have ever seen, however, who are the youngest to win lottery sweepstakes in the history of the competition? And, more importantly, who is the youngest lottery winner in South Africa?
Youngest Lotto Winners in South Africa
Although it only got started in 2000, the South African lottery has already grown to be one of the most popular in the world. And in a little over two decades, it has already managed to produce many young lotto winners.
The South African lottery is currently regulated by the National Lotteries Commission, who put in place strict standards for how the prize competition should be run. Tickets must be purchased through approved retailed, handheld partners, and participating banks, as well as directly online.
To take part in the South African lottery you must be an adult, which means the youngest to win lottery must be 18 years old. As such, you are unlikely to see too many teenage lottery winner!
But out of the millions of people who have taken part in the competition over the years, who is the youngest person to win the lottery in South Africa?
Before we do a quick run-down of the youngest people to win the lotto over the years, we should first make the caveat that it is often the case that winners will opt to stay anonymous. And whilst there are various reasons for this, it does mean that we do not actually know for sure who the youngest lotto winner is.
With that said, let’s look at some of the youngest South African lotto winners we do know the age of!
18 & 20 Years - R6 020 852
The youngest lottery winner in South Africa to date were a young couple aged just 18 and 20 years when they hit the jackpot. This happened on the 12th of July 2003, when a R20 ticket won them a sizable jackpot. After choosing the random numbers 12, 16, 25, 32, 38, 41, and the bonus ball 6, they won a whopping R6 020 852! Although they were incredibly young, this wise couple made the mature decision to avoid spending their winnings on luxury items and instead put it towards investments and their education. Needless to say, this was the perfect boost to their early careers! This couple also had the unique honour of being one of the only teenage lottery winner in South Africa, given that one of them was aged just 18 years when they won the jackpot.
21 Years - R531 938
Another youngest lotto winner in South Africa was a 21-year-old lad from KwaZulu-Natal. This plucky youngster managed to score himself a R531 938 prize with the Daily Lotto. This came in July 2019 when he played 8, 13, 14, 28, and 35 as his lucky numbers, which scored him a sizeable jackpot! Despite his relatively young age, this lucky chap made the mature decision to put the winnings towards improving his family’s living conditions. As such, he was able to put his winnings towards some community projects, which included helping the elderly.
32 Years - R145 469 799
One of the other youngest lottery winners that South Africa has ever produced came in November 2019, when a 32-year-old man managed to secure a sizeable PowerBall jackpot. Although we do not know a whole lot about this lucky young man or what he intends to spend his fortune on. We do know that his life just got a whole lot easier with this R145 469 799 jackpot to his name!
34 Years - R145 469 799
Although he was by no means a teenage lottery winner, this lucky chap did manage to score an epic prize-pool aged just 34-years-old—which is still pretty young in the grand scheme of things! This 34-year-old engineer from Secunda, Mpumalanga in South Africa managed to secure one of the biggest PowerBall jackpots in the history of the country. And despite his relatively young age, he had been playing the lotto regularly since his varsity days. Now free from debt and any immediate material concerns, this lucky youngster and his teenage sweetheart agreed they would carefully manage their winnings—which is a very wise move in our books! They won R145 469 799 and their lucky numbers were 1, 15, 23, 24, 35 and Powerball number 4.
Youngest Lotto Winners in the World
Although the majority of countries require you to be at least 18 years old when you buy a lottery ticket—which is the case for the youngest lotto winner in South Africa—there are some countries where you can truly be a teenage lottery winner!
In some of these countries you can even buy a ticket aged just 16-years-old, which seems an absolutely crazy prospect! With that said, let’s take a look at some of the youngest lottery winners from around the world!
16 Years - R35,3 million
In 2003, 16-year-old Callie Rogers became the youngest lotto winner in UK history when she won £1.9 million (approx. R35,3 million). She quit her Co-op checkout girl job immediately and spent her winnings on everything except her future. Without the necessary financial advice at that young age, after 10 years, she has nothing to show for her big win, except 2 investments: a bungalow for herself and a house for her mother. Looking back, the mother of three said that the big win might have happened too early in her life, but she became a stronger woman through this experience in her life. According to the most recent updates, Callie Rogers has now made the decision to re-train as a nurse and will be attending the University of Central Lancashire this year.
16 Years - R15,8 million
Tracey Makin also became one of the youngest people to win the lottery when she won €1 million (approx. R15,8 million) in the Irish Lottery back in 1998. Aged just 16 when she bought the winning ticket, this proved to be a life-changing purchase for the young supermarket worker—particularly as it was only her 3rd time ever playing the lottery! Thankfully for Tracy, sound advice from her parents helped to invest most of her winnings and to set herself up for success for the rest of her life.
17 Years - R18,5 million
In July 2013 Jane Park became the UK’s youngest EuroMillions winner aged just 17 years-old when she won £1 million (approx. R18,5 million) with the first ticket she ever bought. Unfortunately, Jane does not have much to show for her prize money as she spent her winnings on unprofitable real estate investments, luxury cars and other expensive items.
She has since gone on the record as saying she now regrets ever winning the lottery, given all the added pressures it exposed her to at such a young age. Despite this, she is still positive about her win and her main regret is going public with it to begin with. Jane also had the added misfortune of almost being a victim of her own success when an extreme reaction to cosmetic surgery—something she was only able to afford due to the lottery win—saw her get a life-threatening case of sepsis.
18 Years - R14 100 a Week
In 2012, 18-year-old Robert Salo became the youngest winner of Win for Life—also known as Cash4Life. Just one week before his graduation he bought a $2 ticket and won $1000 (approx. R14 100) a week, for the rest of his life. Instead of getting all his millions at once he will receive a weekly pay-out. At the time of his big win, he planned to buy a new car and getting the college education he dreamed of.
19 Years - R213 million
Former binman Michael Carroll had his £9.7m win in 2002, just six years after having done time at a young offenders institute for repeated criminal charges including shoplifting. For a time, becoming a mild celebrity in the UK press, he was dubbed the “lotto lout” and the “‘King of Chavs”.
Carroll initially suggested he wished only to purchase a three-bed house for himself near a lake, so he could fish, and made some sound financial decisions such as setting up an investment bond, and putting £1 million into his favourite football club, Rangers. Unfortunately, Carroll’s generosity to his friends and family combined with threats to his safety meant that in 2010, the bond had nearly been emptied, and he reapplied for his old job as a binman.
Carroll maintains, however, that he has no regrets as to how he ultimately spent his winnings.
19 Years - R500 million
In 2008, the 19-year-old construction worker, Jonathan Vargas won $35.3 million (approx. R500 million) with the US Powerball jackpot. It was a dream come true winning the lottery, but unfortunately without financial advice not all his dreams for his future came true. The overnight change in his bank balance pushed him into bad investments and he ended up spending most of his winnings on parties, drugs, and alcohol.
Irrespective of what age you are at when you win the lotto, receiving a huge pay-out will change your life forever. For young winners in particular, however, receiving sound financial advice is essential to reaping the benefits of a lottery win for years to come. This will help them to avoid burning through their winnings, particularly if they go public with their win. Although spoiling yourself is part of what allows you to really enjoy the win, this has to be balanced with making the right investments that will provide an improved standard of living for many years to come!