Kenyan factory worker Samuel Abisai has emerged as the lucky winner of a $2 million jackpot in a football bet.
On Sunday, Abisai won the grand prize of Sh221,301,602 ($2 million) for correctly predicting the outcome of 17 football matches in a competition run by betting company SportPesa. His win came after he staked Sh200 ($2) on two mega jackpot picks, according to the Graphic.
Abisai, a Father of one, told reporters at the formal presentation of his check that he does not intend to bet again. Instead, he plans to use part of his winnings to positively affect lives in his community, including setting up a sports academy with his brother.
He also advised pundits to bet only with their loose change and never with their life savings.
Ahead of his public unveiling as the jackpot winner, Abisai got a taste of the good life as he enjoyed a stretch limousine ride provided by Sportpesa from his home in Thika, where he lives with his younger brother, to Nairobi, where the ceremony was held.
SportPesa is Kenya’s foremost betting company and the current shirt sponsor of Premier League club Hull City.
The $2 million jackpot is reportedly one of the biggest in Africa.
Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri said the company will offer Abisai professional financial advice to ensure that his massive bounty is not frittered away.
“We have in place a program to ensure that the winners are taken through financial advice. We want to ensure that come two or three years from now, he will still look like someone who won Sh221 million or even better,” said Karauri.
To put his winning into perspective, Abisai’s massive payout is reportedly much more than what the government has allocated to the Kenya Sport Academy with an additional $200,000 to spare.
It is also worth more than the combined prize money of three of the world’s most lucrative marathon races: Boston ($688,000), Chicago ($737,000), and New York ($514,000).
The money could also pay the salary of Kenya and Tottenham Hotspurs football club of England midfielder Victor Wanyama for seven months.
Surprisingly enough, Abisai says Sunday’s win is not his first; he won Sh30,000 in December and has so far placed a bet on a jackpot four times.
Kenyans are some of the biggest gamblers in sub-Saharan Africa, but there have been concerns that the rise in cases of suicide in young people can be linked to gambling. According to a recent survey, three-quarters of 17- to- 35-year-olds in Kenya admit to having placed a bet with the local betting industry.
The BBC reports that the Kenyan government in its 2017/18 budget introduced a 50 percent tax on the profits of betting companies, which critics say would kill the fledgling industry.