A businessman, Mr. Anthony Akuma, has become the biggest jackpot winner in Nigerian history as he carts home N5.6 in the Plenty Millions National Lottery operated by EG&H Integrated Concepts Limited.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony held in Abuja on May 5, 2017, the managing director/chief executive officer of EG&H Integrated Concepts Ltd, Mr. Thompson Eja said the event was to celebrate the biggest jackpot lottery winner in the history of Nigeria.
“In 2005 the federal government passed the National Lottery Act with a goal to create an environment where we can have a lottery in Nigeria that rivals what you have in the UK, what you have in America, what you have in the Philippines, what you have in South Africa, and our goal as a licensed operator in Nigeria is to create exciting lotteries that can enable things like this happen, so that when somebody wins your lottery, it changes their lives”.
He expressed the hope that Akuma’s life, being the first huge winner of a jackpot lottery in Nigeria, will be positively and significantly impacted.
He recalled that in the US, the U.K. and even South Africa, people win millions and billions of dollars in lottery schemes, while in Nigeria the first huge jackpot winner is taking home N5.6 million.
“The goal of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) is to see routine jackpots win in the excess of N100 million in Nigeria. I think it can happen; I know it will happen and I hope we will lead and be pioneers in making that happen.
“For that to happen though, EG&H is championing close collaboration with the telecomm industry including MTN and GLO so all Nigerians with a phone can easily get a ticket by SMS. Also, EG&H has developed close collaboration with Diamond Bank Y’ello and First Bank Mobile Money to ensure winners are paid promptly and transparently.
In addition, EG&H is the first to introduce the innovation that allows customers to pay for tickets through their bank account. We will continue to improve our services to ensure that the next time we gather here we will be celebrating an even bigger winner”, he concluded.
In his remarks, the representative of the director general of the commission, Mr. Tsav Yagbav congratulated EG&H for being able to break through with the successful jackpot wining.
He also saluted Akuma saying the 2005 Act established the commission to regulate the practice of lottery business in Nigeria to ensure among other things that “when people play Lottery, the rules are set before them, and they know what they are doing, they know what they are going into, and people don’t change the rules in the middle of the game. This was happening before the Act came into being in 2005.
“It is also to ensure that the whole process is transparent, and also to ensure, as we are doing today that when people win they get their winnings,” adding that the practice in the past where operators change the wining price after the draws is a thing of the past as the Commission is effectively monitoring and supervising the process.
He further said he was present at the ceremony to give an endorsement to what EG&H had done and to ensure that “after the presentation of the big cheque, the winner gets his money as soon as possible.”
Also speaking, the representative of Diamond bank, Mrs. Nneka Umeh while congratulating the jackpot winner said tinning would send positive vibes across the country.
“The lottery is definitely going to make a difference in Nigeria, especially in the retail segment of the banking industry where you have the mass market with a large number of them unbanked.
“Plenty Millions will be more known everywhere; people will know that a phone is not only for calls and that using N50 to buy a Plenty Millions Lottery ticket can change your life. N50 has changed his (Akuma’s) life today, and I am sure if he had gone to church and someone told him he will be a millionaire today, he would not have believed,” she said.
Earlier in his remarks, the Ebonyi State-born Akuma had described himself as a “hustler” saying his years of toil and hustling were over following the jackpot win.
Akuma who urged Nigerians to embrace Plenty Millions Lottery for “it is real” declared: “I am very happy and I thank EG&H, operators of Plenty Millions National Lottery. Today is one of the happiest days of my life; I have never seen something like this before…I am a millionaire today.
“Now I know it is real…I want everyone to play it. With a little you can become the next jackpot winner. So I am happy, I am happy, today is my day.”