When I Win The Lottery
“Better soup na money kill am.”
“Na when person get money we go know whether them stingy.”
“Nobody ugly, na just money way dem no get.”
I heard all these variations of money changes a person not because I was broke, but because I was constantly saying everything I’d do if I ever had the money. People were convinced otherwise because apparently, it was how you spent your one thousand naira that determined how you spent you one million naira.
I knew how I was going to spend my one million naira whenever it came. Which was going to happen sooner than any of us planned. I wrote a list of things to do with my first one million. I was going to buy my mom a car, and my dad too. I’d pay the fees of my six siblings through college, fund my cousin’s businesses, and he had so many business ideas and a greater need to spend money on all of them. I’d ball my friends and send them urgent 2k just because. I’d buy two standard school buses for my alma mater for no reason other than a subtle announcement that my hustle paid off contrary to all their opinions.
All I needed was the money. I needed the ego, the kudi, the owo, the dinero. I needed that money in my account to help me touch lives and bring blessings. It was my ultimate aim to not be one of those people who came into money and became stingy or rude. I was going to be a different story. The story that would be used as an example to a lot of our youths. I would be a role model for the youths.
Everyone knew that heaven helped those who helped themselves. I can’t think of a single person in this universe who helped themselves as much as I did. I knew for a fact there existed about a thousand ways to make money. As open-minded as I was, I picked one and dedicated all my time and efforts to it.
Consistency was, after all, the key to success.
I spent hours, days, months working for a better future. Some days, it paid but not in the amount I was gunning for. On those days, the zeal to keep up my hard work tripled. The little amount I always won was, sometimes, used to help those around me. Mostly family. Money for food, DSTV subscription, water, shoes, clothes. And I was paying for all of these, hoping God was seeing and taking note of how I wasn’t greedy. Reassuring him that I wasn’t going to be one of those people who got money and started to act like their air was coming directly from God’s nose.
I assured all these people who didn’t allow me to enjoy my little earnings that all would be fine. As soon as my hustle paid, no one would lack anything. I was a man of my words, I was Benjamin. I was going to free my people from captivity because my brother Joseph who was supposed to help them out of it went abroad, got into prison, but was yet to translate the dreams of anyone.
My main problem was the lack of funds. Everyone lacked funds at the beginning of their struggle. It was the payday that we all looked forward to. Every day, I prayed to God to give me the chance to prove to all the people who didn’t receive the money from my payday that I wasn’t stingy.
I had invested in yet another venture, and this one promised success. I clutched my seat tightly and tuned out the screams and chants of other spectators as Marcus Rashford dribbled his way to the net and took a shot at the goal. If this was a movie scene, the ball would go in slow motion to heighten everyone's anxiety. It didn’t even need to be a movie, my anxiety was already through the roof.
Know this, what God cannot do does not exist.
The ball sailed into the net. If there was ever a goal that needed to be defined as beautiful, it was that one. The referee blew the final whistle, and that was that. Manchester United had won the match. I stood, stunned for the longest time. The realization settled on me and my chest hammered loudly.
“Guy, wetin dey sup? Why you dey cry? Na Atletico fan you be?” Some guy asked.
“Fit be say him slip cut.”
Laughter erupted from a few corners. I got a few pats of sympathy as the room cleared out. A few people stayed back to analyse the game before the sports experts got a chance to swing at that. I thought it was a glorious game. I didn’t think it’d happen, but it did. I wanted to scream, call them back and explain that that wasn’t the case. My slip didn’t cut, I won. I had done it. My hustle had paid off. After months of spending all my time in betting shops, being referred to as useless by my mother on days I didn't win, I had done it. I used five thousand naira to cash out a million naira.
I had so much to do. I had to buy myself a house, my parents' disrespect was suffocating. I wasn’t the first person to graduate from the university without a job. To think I put up with all of that. Dear God. A car would be nice too. I needed to change my wardrobe and change my phone. Get a laptop. I’d pay my siblings' school fees, but they were not particularly intelligent. It would be a waste of investment.
I had to change my life before I changed someone else’s. I had to remove the log in my eyes before noticing the speck in someone else’s.