What a way to start the new year.
No January blues and creditors lurking in your compound demanding payment so that they can take their children to school.
When Geoffrey Kung'u prayed for a prosperous new year, he got more than he had bargained for as he was declared the winner of a Sh100 million Lotto jackpot.
At first, it was unbelievable that the peasant farmer had won Sh100 million in the Christmas Lotto power draw.
Kung'u, 40, a subsistence farmer from Kirima village, Ol Kalou Constituency in Nyandarua County, was dumbfounded when reality finally struck home.
- 1 Muted parties to welcome New Year
- 2 Subdued Brazil New Year celebrations met with silence in Covid-19 ward
- 3 Arise Sir Lewis; Hamilton gets his knighthood
- 4 Why Pope won’t lead end of year services
The win drew villagers including children, youth and adults who celebrated the jackpot at his home and feasted, thanking God for uplifting one of their own.
Embraced by family members, friends and villagers, Kung'u was full of joy and thanked Lotto for making his year memorable.
He could not hide tears of joy as he narrated to The Standard how he began betting and what his expectations had been.
"This is truly a year of blessings. How on earth could I, a child of a peasant farmer, be able to earn such money? It's God's favour and I thank Him for the award," said Kung'u.
Whereas most people have been betting for some time, Kung'u began betting in October last year after he saw an advertisement running in the media.
In total, the farmer has spent approximately Sh4,000 on betting.
Mr Kung'u practices small-scale farming on his two-acre farm where he plants crops such as maize, potatoes, beans and vegetables.
He also has two dairy cows that produce at least 20 litres of milk daily and he sells Sh30 per litre, earning Sh600 daily.
Kung'u said he woke up on the eve of the new year at around 6am and prepared to go to his farm.
However, while at the farm, he only played twice because he was feeling unwell.
He returned home at around 6pm but to avoid boredom, he decided to do a third entry to Lotto, having failed twice during the day.
He said after sending the text, he did not receive instant response like in the other days.
He got ready for bed but at around 9.30pm, he received a phone call from an unknown number.
He was reluctant to respond, fearing they might be criminals.
After 30 minutes, he said he received a phone call from a KTN comedian, James Chanji alias Mshamba, informing him that he was the lucky winner of Sh100 million from Lotto.
The news caught him by surprise, he was tongue-tied.
His wife, who kept following the conversation, could not believe her husband was a millionaire.
"I kept receiving phone calls but I ignored them because I feared they could be from criminals who keep terrorising locals.
However, my wife encouraged me to answer the calls, only to receive the shocking news," he explained.
He and his wife immediately rushed to his father's house near his homestead, gathered his brothers and sisters and shared the news.
The family members all broke into tears of joy and celebrated the entire night, praising God for the luck.
"I did not sleep after receiving the news, I began sweating and had few words. I requested my family to pray for me to calm down," he said.
The farmer is planning to use the Sh100 million jackpot to venture into real estate, his childhood dream.
"I'm planning to use the money to venture into real estate business. I will, however, implement the project after agreement with my wife and family members," said Kungu.
Kung'u attended Rurii Primary School before joining Rurii Secondary School where he sat his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination in 1996 and scored a C+.
After completing his secondary education, he enrolled at Kenya Medical Training College in Embu where he studied for a diploma in environmental health.
However, life after college was not easy for the subsistence farmer who travelled to Nairobi to seek employment.
He was employed as a matatu driver but later dropped because the job was too demanding with little pay.
Kung'u later travelled back to his ancestral village and ventured into small-scale farming including rearing chickens, dairy and crop production.
Life in the village, he said, has not been easy. At times, he is forced to borrow money from his friends and family members.
Peter Oyier, a Communication Officer with Lotto said Kung'u is the first beneficiary of the Sh100 million super power draw in East and Central Africa.
Oyier said the farmer received the highest amount since the betting firm set up shop in Kenya.