Will I win big in the Lotto?

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Could the lotto be my retirement plan?

Do you think I will win the lotto? This might seem like a crazy thing to write about, especially considering the fact that I advocate investing in long-term investments (such as my ETF investments) and I’m generally not a risk taker. But this is real life!

Someone told me that he’d rather play the lotto than invest because in his mind, the South African markets (in fact many global markets) are not dissimilar to gambling. This sparked an idea for me as I’m sure many readers feel the same.

My lotto experiment

I have decided to play R100 on a standard Lotto “quick pick” ticket at the beginning of each month and track my winnings (if any) and also compare this to having saved my money in a bank account and earned 5%. I’m only going to do this for 12 months as I don’t really feel that lucky and I don’t particularly advocate this as a good idea.

I’ve actually never played the lotto as I feel it’s a complete waste of money.

Update: I have also tried smaller amounts per week and even tried the instant cash win games on the site. No luck yet!

The results

I started doing this in June and here are the results from the past 10 months:

Lotto Experiment March 2020
Lotto Experiment March 2020

The “5% in Bank” column is showing the interest I would earn for the period and the final row is showing the running total had I simply left the money in the bank.

Thus, by the end of March 2020 I have lost almost R800 whereas had I just saved it in the bank I would’ve had a little over R950.

Not a great lotto experiment so far!


A reader suggested that I play smaller amounts more often which is more representative of what people do. Who knows if that is true, but I am trying that too (see the plays in January 2020)

What now

R20 winnings in the National Lotto

I’ll keep updating this page with the latest results until the end of May 2020. This way we can get a fair idea of a full years worth of lotto games.

Some feedback that I have received about this is that the Lotto is a form of entertainment as it has an alluring factor.

The excitement of the “unknown“.

The excitement of the “what if“.

The reality of the lotto is that only 1 in 50 gazillion gamillion will ever win big.

However, if you play purely for entertainment that is okay; provided you budget for it accordingly.

You can lose it all!

Please remember that you can really lose all your money in the lotto and that it is simply a game of chance. And your chances are slim!

Play, have fun.

But don’t rely on ever winning anything.


  1. Instead of actually spending the money, you could just have selected some numbers, and checked whether they matched that weeks number to establish your “winnings”. Payout sheets could be used to see how much you “pretend win”, unless of course you think you would have hit some jackpot in one year’s time. Take the money not wasted and invest it instead. 🙂

    1. That’s a good idea but then what if I actually win? LOL – I think actually buying the ticket just makes the experiment more “real”

      1. “The reality of the lotto is that only 1 in 50 gazillion gamillion will ever win big.” 🙂 Good luck. 😅

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