“When I spun the wheel, I couldn’t watch it slow down to land on a number. I turned my back, I was too nervous. I’m one of those people who never win anything, so I expected one of the lower numbers – R10 000 or so. Then the host screamed out, ‘A hundred and fifty thousand!’ It was amazing.
My wife was as thrilled as I was. We agreed that the money should go into my endowment policy. In about two years, we should have enough for a deposit on a house. Owning property has been our goal ever since we were married – so, for about six years now.
We never thought we’d be able to buy a house so soon. I’m in my thirties now, but I gave myself between 40 and 45 to achieve it. It will be a big accomplishment; everyone wants something they can call their own, a place that means security and that can be moulded to fit their needs and lifestyle.
I imagine the day I’ll be able to put down the deposit for the house we want to make our home. I think I’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment. I know I will.”
“I struggled as a single mom. The debt I built up trying to build a life for myself and my two children kept me up at night. I never thought there’d be a way I could pay it off – I’m working alone.
My solution came out of the blue, so unexpected, I thought it was a scam. I was randomly chosen to be on Your Next Million. I’ve been with Standard Bank for 20 years now and our relationship has always been good – I’m a reliable client and they’re a reliable bank – but I never thought it would be my salvation.
Of course I was nervous before and on the show. I also felt disconnected from reality, which is fitting, because the money I won was a dream come true. The R60 000 has allowed me to squash a lot of my debt. I still have a way to go, but I feel positive. I can do more things for my children now. I know money can’t buy happiness, but by getting me to my Next, Standard Bank has helped me get my children to some of theirs. My son can now play soccer after school like he always wanted, and my daughter has transport money to get to and from varsity. Before, I always had to tell them ‘we don’t have money, we don’t have money’. That’s changed and I won’t look back.
The greatest gift the show gave me was the opportunity to help others; my children, yes, but I also gave R50 000 to JumpStart and R10 000 to an audience member I didn’t even know. She looked so excited when the spotlight fell on her. I could tell she didn’t expect to win anything, just like me. I felt good. I still feel good.”
“My father passed away in 2012. Since that time, his gravesite was without a tombstone. We struggled to get the money together, and it ate away at us. But the game show changed that.
It was unreal. I got the chance to give my brother R10 000 just like that on Your Next Million – they called it ‘activating someone’s Next’. We used that for the tombstone, to remember my Dad in the way he deserves. It was a big thing for us, it meant a lot.
Standard Bank also let me work at my own goals. Since I became a mother, my heart has been set on helping people, especially girls. I promised myself that as I got older and had more free time, I would focus more on community work. I run my own charity now, Zithande Campaign. Where I live, we have a big problem with teenaged pregnancy and drug-taking. I’m trying to change that by building the self-confidence of girls and young women through beauty pageants, making them more independent and career-minded. I can use the R10 000 I won for myself to buy some nice prizes!
I also won R50 000 for a charity. For me, this was especially touching. I chose Ntataise, because it’s in Nelspruit where I’m from, not because I thought it was more deserving than all the others.
We have a saying in the Zulu culture, ‘you mould them when they are young’. That’s what I’m trying to do, and I think that’s what Ntataise is doing – helping young people reach their potential. I feel like I made a positive difference.”