Chris Moerdyk

Tata ma problems

2010-02-22 08:04

I have a huge problem with Powerball. Not only because I didn't win the R91m, but because it makes no sense in a South African situation.

It’s a big hit in first world countries and sure it’s popular here, but the UK and US model of winner takes all doesn't really fit well in Africa.

First of all, I reckon that winning R30m is just as much life changing at winning R91m.

Think about it. The woman who won the R91m a week ago said she was going to invest the money and live off the interest. Right now she could probably get eight percent, conservatively speaking. 

That means every month she will have R606 000 to spend. Ok, knock off the tax she will have to pay and that still leaves her with R320 000 a month.

Do the sums on half that amount and its still living in unbelievable luxury for the rest of your life.

Powerball problem

My big problem with Powerball is that millions of South Africans play it not because it "would be nice to be rich" but because they see it as a way of getting themselves out of abject poverty, hunger and the perennial battle to bring their children up in something other than squalor.

The people who invest R3.50 in the Lotto or Powerball and win the lowest prize get R11.

What on earth use is R11 to anybody?  It will manage to keep a starving family away from death for about ten minutes.

The same applies for the bigger prizes like getting three numbers right. They get R21. Yay.

And for three numbers right plus the Powerball they get R500. OK, so that starts looking a bit better. R500 to a poor person is big bucks. But, it’s not exactly life-changing. It is merely death delaying.

I reckon it would be a lot better if, when there is a total pool of R105m, instead of making the first prize R91m, make it R30m. Still a huge amount of money in anybody's language.

I reckon the prize payout needs to be re-calculated to increase, for example, that R500 prize to something a bit more meaningful and life changing.

I reckon too, that if more people were to win meaningful money, participation in the Lotto and Powerball would increase and instead of someone winning an obscene R100m once in a blue moon, thousands more would have a life changing experience.

Send your comments to Chris

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