Tonight’s Powerball jackpot winner could walk away with a whopping R142 million. It has rolled over 22 times. This massive windfall could come with mixed fortunes.
Striking it rich isn’t always a solution to all problems. Experts have seen the challenges some have encountered.
The current lottery operator, Ithuba, has hired the services of psychologists and financial planners to help them.
Molebatsi Lekgetha advises lottery winners at Ithuba.
She says working with instant millionaires has been a learning curve.
“You know the phrase that money changes people, it really does. With this winner before their winnings, he was humble, he did not believe that this is happening. Once he saw the money, he was completely different.”
Lekgetha has found that financial literacy is very low, even among the most educated.
Lottery winners don’t always listen to sound advice.
“This client wanted to get into property space and I advised him to buy one property first. Obviously, the client had his own ideas and bought multiple properties and now the properties are not generating money. This gentleman is not enjoying his money anymore. And of course, there are huge tax implications and it is not about investment,” explains Lekgetha.
While most big-prize lotto winners improve their living situations, the pressures of having large amounts, can take their toll.
Clinical Psychologist at Ithuba Hlengiwe Zwane says, “Because the money is a lot, it’s a jackpot, they all have similar experience despite the fact that is the first or second win. The more the money is the higher the emotions. You find that people can’t sleep, they suffer panic attacks or struggling with overwhelmed palpitations. But also, psychologically how that person will respond based on what are they thinking about the money.”
Some instant millionaire’s also battle to adapt to their new found wealth.
“When money comes in, you find that a person is dealing with a lot of internal pressure, to say now ‘am I a millionaire? Does it mean that I must behave differently?’ We help a person in equipping them psychologically to understand internal pressure and external pressure where people around also expect you to be different. Ithuba has been doing a great job helping people to marry the two.”