Kakamega woman wins Sh22m SportPesa jackpot

Kakamega-based tea dealer bets behind her husband’s back to land jackpot

Thursday January 7 2016

Elimah Khanaitsa, winner of Sh22,049,424 SportPesa jackpot after collecting her cheque on January 6, 2016. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Elimah Khanaitsa, winner of Sh22,049,424 SportPesa jackpot after collecting her cheque on January 6, 2016. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By DAVID KWALIMWA
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The local sports betting scene on Wednesday saw the unveiling of its first female jackpot winner.

Elimah Khanaitsa, 27, bagged a staggering Sh22 million.

An emotional Khanaitswa was accompanied by her husband Ezekiel Besa, 30, to receive her cheque from online betting firm SportPesa at a Nairobi hotel.

The business woman from Amalemba Estate, Kakamega County correctly predicted the outcome of 13 football matches listed by SportPesa last week.

These included Chelsea’s win over Crystal Palace, Southampton’s loss to Norwich and Everton’s draw at home to Tottenham.

She predicted correctly other less glamorous fixtures, such as Villarreal’s win over Deportivo la Coruna in the Spanish la Liga, Middlesbrough’s triumph over Derby County in England’s second tier football league, and FC Porto’s loss to archrivals Sporting Lisbon in Portugal.

“I have a lot to say at the moment but (I) cannot talk now,” the mother of two, said before breaking down.

After composing herself moments later, she said: “I have been betting for sometime behind my husband’s back because he wouldn’t approve of this.
“In the process I won some small amounts which encouraged me. The first time I tried my luck with the jackpot and won only three games out of a possible 13, the next time that increased to 7/13,” Khanaitswa added.

The couple promised to give a fraction of their huge win as tithe and use the rest to expand their tea business.

“We import tea from Uganda and sell locally, but now I am targeting the markets in Khartoum and even the UK,” Besa said.

SportPesa chief executive officer Mr Ronald Karauri announced at the event that they were in negotiations with a financial advisor to help out the new “unique” millionaire and her family.

Khanaitswa is the fourth SportPesa jackpot winner.

The largest jackpot win stands at Sh29 million. It was won by George Mwangi, a Nairobi-based businessman in September lastyear.

Launched in February 2014, SportPesa has so far handed out more than Sh70 million in jackpot awards, with Nicholas Wafula and Isaac Kimonge winning Sh5 million each, George Mwangi (Sh2.95 million), Andrew Mghangha (Sh5 million) and Samuel Mwachogu (Sh1.5 million) among the big winners.
The betting firm has also invested heavily in sports.
They are the title sponsors of the country’s top club football competition, the Kenyan Premier League.

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