/ 8 October 2007

Tickets sales climb as first lottery jackpot looms

National Lottery operator Gidani had sold more than 1,5-million lottery tickets by Monday morning, said its CEO, Bongani Khumalo.

”We have worked hard to meet the start deadline and we are seeing a good start ahead of the first draw to due to take place on Saturday October 13,” he said.

Visits to various retailers showed that people were happy to have the lottery back.

”With a R15-million guaranteed jackpot at our first draw, we are hugely excited that we start our operation of the National Lottery with such a sizeable guaranteed jackpot,” Khumalo said.

Former National Lottery operator Uthingo last week said it had no intention of contesting the awarding of the lottery licence to Gidani.

”We do not agree, but we do not intend to subject the licensing process to further scrutiny by the courts,” company chairperson Barney Pityana told reporters at Midrand.

Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa awarded the licence to operate the lottery to Gidani last month.

The lottery has been on hold since March this year after Uthingo successfully challenged the awarding the licence to Gidani in the Pretoria High Court. It cited, among other things, the political links of some Gidani board members.

The court ruled in favour of Uthingo, saying the awarding was indeed suspect and contrary to the Lottery Act. It ordered the minister to review his decision and address the concerns raised by Uthingo.

Mpahlwa announced on September 21 that this process resulted in Gidani retaining the license. — Sapa