The South African National Lottery is being dubbed a scam after an unusual sequence of numbers saw 20 people win a share of last week’s jackpot.

The live draw sparked accusations of fraud which saw the numbers five, six, seven, eight and nine drawn, while the PowerBall itself was, you couldn’t make it up, number 10.

Each of the winners picked up a very healthy pre-Christmas cheque of £278,000 each, while a further 79 ticketholders won 6,283 rand each for guessing the sequence from five up to nine but missing out on the PowerBall.

“Congratulations to the 20 winners of the PowerBall draw,” lottery operator Ithuba tweeted, adding: “These numbers may be unexpected, but we see many players opt to play these sequences.”