Lotteries in the Ancient and Medieval World

Scholars disagree on who started the ancient tradition of lotteries, but there are references in the Bible. In Chapter 26 in the Book of Numbers, Moses used a lottery to award land west of the River Jordan, read more  



Initially, its wise to start with the legally part of it. Its no doubt that soon after indepedance, a lot was to be set aside, and to catch up with the world lotteries: 

  • Late in 1995, the South African Government initiated the process of launching the National Lotto, with the publication of the Main Report on Gambling -RP 85/1995.
  • In 1996, , Mr. Alec Erwin,the then Minister of Trade and Industry invited companies to bid for the right to operate the South African National Lottery.
  • In 1997, Parliament passed the National Lotteries Act  for the first time -No 57 of 1997
  • November, 06,  1997, the President of the republic, Nelson Mandela assented to the Act.
  • In 1998, Minister Alec Erwin appointed the National Lotteries Board (NLB), the industry regulator, in accordance with the Act.
  • In June 1999, the NLB recommended its choice to the Ministerof trade, Mr Erwin. 

First South african national lotto operator-Uthingo

In 1996, Uthingo Management (Pty) Ltd was founded,  in response to the public invitation by Minister Erwin, to contest the opportunity to operate South Africa’s National Lottery.

  • The National Lottery bidding and evaluation process is renowned for its transparency, fairness and integrity.
  • July, 09, 1999, Minister Erwin announced the choice of Uthingo Management (Pty) Ltd as the country’s preferred bidder. Uthingo had invested over $3,5 million in the bidding process.
  • On 09 September 1999, the Minister conferred the 7-year license to Uthingo at the public ceremony in Funda Centre, Soweto, where the company pledged to operate a successful world-class lottery with integrity and patriotic commitment to South Africa.
  •   11 March 2006 the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mandisi Mpahlwa, announced that the licence to operate the National Lottery had been awarded to Gidani (Pty) Ltd. This led to some tension and lotto was temporarily stoped for some months. 
  • Uthingo operated the South African National Lottery until March 2007 and lost the bid to renew its license to Gidani after a legal battle and negotiations with the Ministry of Trade and Industry. During that period (March to October 2007) the South African National Lottery was suspended and the first Lotto draw after Gidani took over from Uthingo took place on October 13, 2007.