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Lotto payout for a foreigner

Apr 12 2013 07:53

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A foreigner wants to know how he can claim his R3.63m Lotto prize and take it home. He writes:

I am an American visiting South Africa (which I have done many times). I have won a moderate sum in the South African lottery (about R3m).

Can I take the money with me when I leave the country? It has been several months now and I have not yet claimed the money.

Without identifying myself, I called the lottery operator and frankly, I have never talked to a more ignorant group.

Depending upon whom I talk to, I am told that I can convert the money to US dollars and take the cash with me (I believe Christo Wiese landed in a spot of bother when he tried to take a large sum of cash out of England).

Another person told me that I could not take the money out of SA and then proceeded to tell me he could "arrange" to have the money sent out of the country – after I gave it to him. 

What is the real truth - can I legally take R3.63m in lotto winnings out of South Africa and if so, how?

Jan Lombard, foreign currency expert at Bidvest Bank, responds:

The user must first obtain a formal winnings certificate from National Lottery. After that, he will need a tax clearance certificate from the South African Revenue Service to allow the foreign payment to be made.

Thembi Tulwana, CEO: corporate affairs and strategy at Lotto operator Gidani, explains the Lotto's payment policy: 

All prizes are paid in South African rand to single individuals or a syndicate who will nominate a single person to claim on their behalf.

This nomination of the syndicate member must be validated by a commissioner of oaths from any police station near you. 

1.  Cash prizes of up to R2 000 are payable at any retail outlet selling National Lottery products. Some retail outlets will, at their own discretion, pay prizes up to R5 000. 

2.  Cheque prizes between R5 000 and R50 000 are payable at Authorised Prize Payment Centres, of which the addresses are available from any retail outlet selling National Lottery products or via the Players’ Hotline 0800-777-777. 

3.  The claimant will be required to complete a prize claim form and provide proof of identity. A valid South African identity document, passport or driver’s licence is the only form of identity document allowed when claiming from Authorised Prize Payment Centres. 

The applicable rules for any prize above R50 000 are: 

•  The claimant must produce his/her original signed ticket including his/her name and surname

•  The claimant should produce the following at time of claiming lotto prize:

1. A valid passport and a valid permit that verifies that the claimant is in South Africa lawfully. 

2. Most importantly, the winner must be in possession of their valid South African personal bank account and not a business account.

3. A one-month bank statement would be required and where the South African bank account is fairly new, then a letter from the bank verifying that the account is new will be required.

4. No joint bank account is allowed unless you belong to a syndicated group. In this regard, Gidani will require South Africa identity copies of the syndicated group including a letter signed by a commissioner of oath confirming that particular group has agreed to play together and share the winning.

In addition, a nomination form will be signed by all concerned nominating the person they have chosen to claim the prize on behalf of the group. After this entire process has been completed, the money will be deposited into the syndicated group’s joint bank account.

5. In the event that the winner does not have a bank account, then the winner will be required to go open a South African personal bank account shortly after validating his/her ticket.

6. It should be noted that the National Lottery Operator does not give cheques, but transfers the winnings into the winner’s South African personal bank account.

7. For foreign nationals, the requirement is the same as above and there is no special dispensation in this regard.

8. The selling of “winning” tickets to local nationals is frowned upon and can lead to prosecution.

9. It should be noted that no one can claim a ticket already signed by the winner except the winner himself/herself.

10. Most importantly, no altered winning ticket will be paid out because it will be deemed to have been stolen. 

Please note that the foreign winner in question can only be able to claim when he/she satisfied the requirements stated above.  

 - Fin24 

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lotto  |  money  |  consumers
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