Malawi, Morocco, And More – Africa’s Biggest Lotteries | The Nation Online


There are plenty of instances of people winning big via various African lotteries across the continent. When it comes to understanding the advantages of one versus the other, it’s good to know the prize money on offer, the odds of winning and other elements worth considering.

A recent example in Kenya’s ‘Imarika’ Jackpot brought Peter Mwangi Wanjugu the cool sum of one million Kenyan shillings. That’s a hefty number, indeed, but when converted translates to seven million Malawian Kwacha.  

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“All I can tell Kenyans is to try their luck with lotto, I believed and here I am,” enthused Wanjugu.

Morocco is one of the richest countries in Africa and among the wealthiest in the world, too. Their national lottery offers significantly higher winnings than some of their continental counterparts.

In the first half of 2021, prizes upward of 26 million Moroccan dirhams were up for grabs. Now there is value Malawi citizens can really get to grips with. It enters the billions and some change in Kwacha when run through a currency exchange.

The national lottery in Uganda is also popular with its residents. Like for the Kenyan shilling, Ugandan shillings can be lucrative for Malawians. The prizes traditionally equate to high six- or seven-figure amounts. Of course, thanks to the tireless work of some local authorities, Malawi also have a lottery of their own.

But at the end of the day the South African Lotto doesn’t really have any African rivals in terms of the big jackpots it can churn out.

South Africa has had a record-breaking list of jackpot winners over the years. The biggest so far was achieved in 2019, via the Powerball draw, when one lucky person walked off with over R230 million. SA has had nine other victorious entrants pocket R100 million or more, but not one of those has come even close to touch the R200 million-mark again. The closest was last year, when R153 million weighed in as the second-biggest jackpot ever won in the country.

South Africa has a population of over 60,000 million people. A vast number of those are legally allowed to enter the country’s lotteries. The same applies for Morocco, Uganda, Malawi, Kenya and other African nations.

All odds and other elements considered, there’s no ultimate way of determining which lottery is the easiest to win. There are factors to increase your chances, yes, but even these are not guaranteed. It is important to keep in mind the variables. Take, for instance, the odds of winning some of these international lotteries’ main prize.

US Powerball (United States) – odds of winning: 1 in 292,201,338

Euro Jackpot (Europe) – odds of winning: 1 in 95,344,200

La Primitiva (Spain) – odds of winning: 1 in 31,625,100

UK Lotto (United Kingdom) – odds of winning: 1 in 45,057,474

While Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Malawi and Kenya are aforementioned leading examples, it’s key to note that other African countries such as Algeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mauritius and Mozambique have national lotteries of their own as well. South Sudan even have one, too. They’re not necessarily as big as their global counterparts mentioned above, but probably worth having a crack at, regardless.