Lotto machines offline as new operator falters

The first draw that Ithuba – the new operator of the Powerball and Lotto – had people wishing to play up in arms as machines across the country were out of order.

The South African National Lottery Facebook page was bombarded with posts from people wanting to know whether they would still get their prize money, while others slammed the new operator.

Spokesperson Zuki Nomnganga could not immediately be reached for comment.

Tshediso Mokhafola posted: “Why continue with the draw? There are no working machines. Or is it just me?”

Matsepo Malatswae wrote: “Have been trying to find a place where your lotto machines are operational, without any luck here in Pretoria North.”

“Tonight the people of Chatsworth [in Durban] won’t be participating in the Powerball draw because the new machines have not been installed as yet. Not fair!!!! but good luck to the rest of the country,” wrote Rodney Subbiah.

John Arthur wrote: “You promised a seamless change, but there is no Sportstake, no scratch cards, no FNB, no nedbank, no playsalottery, very few lotto terminals…your call centre doen’t answer, we can’t cash winning tickets from last draw…no Ithuba regional office in most areas….the list is endless….you had six months to prepare since you won the license..”

Some of those who complained received a replying post that read: “We have experienced some operational delays at local National Lottery retailers.”

But while many were frustrated, Sifiso Luthuli was a happy man. He wrote: “I have played powerball and lotto already on new Ithuba machines at Shoprite Esikhaleni and Richards Bay.”

Ithuba took over the operation of the South African National Lottery on Monday. It had been a rub for the previous eight years by Gidani. In 2013, Gidani had been designated by the National Lotteries Board to be the preferred bidder, but Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies overturned this decision. Gidani is still challenging Davies’ decision in the courts.

The draw itself went ahead and was broadcast on e.tv on Tuesday at 21:00.

Whether the machines will be up and running for people to purchase tickets for Wednesday night’s Lotto draw – only time will tell.

Source: News24

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Lotto machines offline as new operator falters