Kenyan man Samuel Abisai’s $2 wager turns into $2.14 million jackpot

  • Bettor correctly predicted results of seventeen football matches
  • Record win comes as betting company involved in legal dispute over gambling taxes

A Kenyan man has struck it rich by turning just $2 into $2.14 million on a seventeen-game sports accumulator bet, one of the largest in the country’s history.

Samuel Abisai, middle, collects his winnings from SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri.
Samuel Abisai, middle, collects his winnings from SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri.

The man placed two wagers of just $1 each on a variety of football matches across European leagues, and reportedly headed for a night out on the town with a friend after 15 of his 17 results had come in – guaranteeing him an already sizeable bonus.

However, his final two games – the North London Derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, and an Italian Serie A clash between Internazionale and Napoli – both completed his remarkable victory.

In the local currency, he won 221,311,602 Kenyan shillings.

The man – 28-year-old Samuel Abisai, from the Kakamega County – was called by Ronald Karauri, the CEO of SportPesa, the company with whom he had placed the bets. Karauri duly informed the man that his winnings would be even more than the windfall expected, as he had won the full jackpot.

No more bets for Samuel

Mr Abisai has told journalists in Nairobi that he is not going to bet again, following this huge win.

He reportedly has a daughter, and also speaks fluent Mandarin, working for a Chinese company. His next decision will be whether or not he quits his job.

However, he did say that top on his list of priorities is buying a car and investing in real estate. He also says he wants to give back to society, claiming that he was sponsored as a child for his schooling. At the moment though, he said he would just be ‘relaxing’ and ‘seeking advice’.

He said he only bet money if he had money left over once his essential expenses were covered. He said he normally employs a strategy, but on this occasion he only had time to rush into a decision.

A sensation in Kenya, and beyond

With the average monthly income in Kenya totalling a shade under $120, the man will immediately be elevated to a status of unimaginable wealth among his peers. Sports betting has become increasingly popular in Kenya in recent years, and SportPesa are currently involved in a legal dispute with the government over plans for heavy taxes on betting companies in a bid to combat problem gambling in the country.

Fortunately for the winner of this bet, however, the taxes aren’t on gambling winnings – so he’ll be free to enjoy his jackpot however he wishes.

He has already had to face a media storm, with dozens of journalists gathered for his news conferences, and requests for interviews and the full story on who he is and who is set to benefit.


This is something of a fairytale story for Kenya, where the prospect of banking more than $2 million dollars has certainly drawn huge attention.

And Mr Abisai appears in interviews to be level-headed and a decent man, suggesting that as well as investing his money, he is wanting to give something back to society.

For players, it is incredible how the odds can really stack up when going down the accumulator route. Mr Abisai’s win is testament to this fact – even though he also hit a SportPesa jackpot. Let’s hope that money really will be put to good use for himself, and his fellow citizens.

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