Is It Illegal to Buy Lottery Tickets With My SASSA Grant?

Many South Africans rely on social grants from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to cover basic needs. A common question is whether these funds can be used to purchase National Lottery tickets, or if doing so is illegal. This article examines the rules around social grants and lottery play.

Who Can Legally Play the Lottery?

According to National Lottery regulations, players must meet certain conditions to legally purchase tickets and claim potential winnings:

  • You must be 18 years or older to play
  • You need to be able to legally sign a contract as the ticket holder
  • Players must purchase their own ticket – you cannot play on someone else’s behalf

Without meeting these requirements, individuals cannot legally participate in the lottery.

How Social Grants Can Be Spent?

SASSA grants are allocated to approved recipients and intended only for their care and personal use.

  • Grants can only be spent by the recipient whose name they are issued under
  • Funds should be used for the recipient’s basic needs, like food, transportation, utilities, etc.

It is illegal for anyone besides the recipient to spend a SASSA grant. Sharing SASSA cards or grant funds is prohibited.

Is It Illegal to Buy Lottery Tickets?

Provided the lottery play conditions are met, it is legal for recipients to use their grant funds to purchase lottery tickets. This is because:

  • The grants belong to the recipients themselves
  • There are no restrictions on specifically how funds are spent

However, winners may become ineligible for future grants if lottery winnings put them over SASSA’s means test thresholds. While playing is legal, winnings are considered income and could impact future eligibility.

Steps if You Suspect Social Grant Fraud

Recipients should be vigilant about SASSA grant fraud, which is illegal.

  • Do not share your SASSA card or PIN with anyone
  • Report suspicious transactions on your card
  • Contact the SASSA fraud hotline immediately if your card is lost/stolen

SASSA grants are for recipients’ personal use only. Report fraud at your nearest office or by calling 0800 601 011. Abuse of the system denies support to those in need.

Playing Responsibly Within Your Means

If choosing to play the lottery with your grant, remember to:

  • Budget responsibly and avoid overspending on tickets
  • Prioritize your grant funds for essential living costs
  • Play for entertainment, not as a strategy for financial gain
  • Avoid playing if it may lead to financial problems or addiction

Playing the lottery with SASSA grants is legal but best done occasionally for fun, not as a source of income. Focus grants on meeting your basic needs first.


Recipients can legally purchase lottery tickets with their own SASSA grant funds, provided they meet age and eligibility conditions to play. However, grant fraud is illegal, as is overspending on non-essentials. Play responsibly within your means, report suspicious activity, and don’t share your grant.

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