Popular lottery campaign, Lotto, has been exposed for how they dupe Kenyans into playing the lottery with false portraits of winners splashed in the media.
Kurunzi has established, after months of follow up on the lottery, that majority of those paraded as winners are people who get coached to pose as winners and are often paid just a negligible fraction of the monies they purport to have won.
The first case that confirmed this scam is from an incident in November 2018 where a middle-aged man from Western Kenya was alleged to have won KSh10 million and called on live television (KTN News).
Maxwell Ochanda (not his real name) made the long trip to Nairobi where he was to be presented with his fortune after playing Lotto daily for more than two years. According to him, the gods had finally smiled on him and he was now a millionaire. But woe unto him.
When he arrived, something mysterious had happened and he was no longer the winner of the KSh10 million.
“When I arrived at their offices, the security guards told me I’d be lucky to be given my winnings,” he told Kurunzi.
The guards’ point was proved within minutes. After being ushered into the board room of Oxygen 8 Lotto Limited at the company’s Westlands offices, a lady by the name of Pauline and a few other individuals sat Ochanda down and suggested that he was not the right winner.
He had been called by mistake but they were quick to add that he would not make the eight-hour journey back home empty handed. They made him an offer to compensate him for the time lost and erroneous identity.
“They told me to spend a night in Nairobi the night following day they would pay me KSh500,000 as compensation but I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement that I will never again in the future make any claims of ever having won anything from Lotto,” he says, adding they had called a Ms Edith Njeri (not her real name) who was the right winner.
“I was taken for lunch an and hen booked into a hotel until the following when they brought in to sign some papers whose content I was not allowed to read until after signing.
“I was given a Lotto t-shirt and cap then presented with a cheque of KSh500,000 in front of cameras. I was released and told that this should never be known to anyone because they have paid me off.”
“The parties for their mutual benefit desire to keep the details of an incident related to the Lotto Powerdraw on November 3rd 2018 confidential […] for the purposes of this incident,” read part of the agreement made on 14 November 2018.
“Mr […] agrees to waive all all current and future claims in exchange […] the agreed acceptable consideration.”
The “compensation” was successfully transferred to his KCB bank account on 16 November 2018 after the cheque could not be deposited because his name says we’re captured incorrectly.
The payment was processed by a Ms Sarah W Ndung’u with the approval of a Mr Andrew Wilson Martin on 14 November 2018.
It is not clear whether Ms Njeri (the purported winner of the KSh10 million) is part of the scheme to dupe unsuspecting “winners” but her conduct suggests she isn’t part of the deal to fleece Kenyans.
Kurunzi has independently verified the claims of how dozens of “winners” are duped only to be given fractions of their “winnings”, some even being given money in installments.
In one incident, an individual well known to our team members allegedly won KSh50,000 from the same company but was never paid until he threatened to expose the scam. He eventually received KSh45,000 in three installments.
One of the directors of the company has been seen in town bragging at social joints how he makes money from poor Kenyans even in his sleep.
“The guy is very arrogant yet he is stealing from Kenyans,” says a source that frequents one of the said director’s favorite joints.
Kenyans must now shun the lottery like a plague but that should not be enough, the betting control and licensing board should cancel their license and an immediate investigation launched for criminal culpability and money laundering by the company’s directors and staff.
Victims of this scam have complained being shunned by media houses, who have turned a blind eye due to the advertising revenue they receive from Lotto.
We invite you to share your experiences in the hands of Lotto scammers so that they are exposed to the core, Kenyans have too many problems to grapple with already and some unscrupulous individuals should not take advantage of their quest for a fortune to stealing from them.