Sh10 million Valentine’s gift changed my life


  • John Mungere won Lotto’s Valentine’s Power Draw worth millions and a bonus of Sh1 million for his wife
  • The former shoe vendor speaks about his new life as a city landlord

When did you receive the good news?

It was on February 17, 2017, Just after Valentine’s Day when I received a phone call informing me that I had won Sh10 million, with a bonus a million my wife.

I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled to have finally won after playing over 300 times. It was way past Vals, but we took some time off and spent the day together.

We were not able to go out and do anything lavish, but we took a long walk together and contemplated what we were going to do with the cash.

What has life been like since you won?

Winning the money changed my life in a big way and changed my lifestyle completely. I would sincerely wish to forget the days when I struggled to pay rent. And that’s the reason I have put up houses. Now I am a proud landlord.

I live a much better life now, one which I don’t have to struggle so much to get basic needs like food. I used to live in Pipeline, but I have since moved to Kahawa. I can say I finally feel like a normal Kenyan.

Do you still have the same friends?

I drifted a bit from most of my friends since many of them were colleagues who I interacted with on a daily basis while I worked as a shoe vendor in Gikomba market.

So when I won the money and stopped going to the market, it became a bit difficult to meet up with them. But I try to keep in touch with them, even if only through the phone. My family has not changed much; if anything, we have become closer.

What have you done with the money so far?

I ventured into my projects almost right away. I gave out my shoe business to my friends in Gikomba and bought a plot for building houses.

I was afraid of doing anything that would waste the money, making me unable to account for it later on.

The most important thing for me was to have something I could look at from time to time; to have a tangible project I could be proud of and which would benefit me in my future.

How much of the cash is untouched?

I have spent a significant amount, the greater bulk of it actually. Generally, construction is very expensive, without factoring in the initial cost of buying the land.

I have spent over Sh8 million in total, but it is worth it to own my property and live a comfortable life. Of course we have also spent some on improving our life, buying food and other daily expenses.

Do you still play Lotto?

Yes, I still play every now and then. I don’t necessarily believe I will win again, but I keep playing out of loyalty. You never know, maybe I will get lucky again!

Any Valentine’s plan this time around?

When I won last year, I promised to help my wife initiate a project of her own. We have not had a chance to yet, so one of my Valentine’s gifts to her is to invest in something she wants to do.

She has not decided yet, but when she does, I will throw all my support behind her, financially and in any other way. We are also planning a short get away, maybe for two or three days out of the city, but nothing extravagant.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of