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SportPesa confirms Korir’s Sh208m Mega Jackpot cash will not be taxed

Betting firm SportPesa will pay the entire Mega Jackpot windfall amounting to Sh208,733,619 to winner Cosmas Korir.

This was confirmed yesterday when the firm feted the latest Mega Jackpot winner at Carnivore Restaurant, saying the government, through Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the Betting Control and Licensing Board, was yet to provide guidelines on the new tax rules.

Sportpesa Head of Customer Service Emily Gichuki said:“We cannot withhold tax without guidelines from the government, so we will pay him the entire amount he won.”

Korir, a native of Bomet who works in West Pokot County as an Agricultural Officer, correctly predicted 17 match results to win the windfall on Sunday. He said he would share the windfall with two of his close friends who helped him place the Mega Jackpot bets, prior to winning.

“My friends came to borrow from me Sh1,800 to buy cabbage seedlings but I did not have enough to lend them since I had not received my monthly salary. So after chatting briefly at a car wash we decided to place bets. We placed five bets on the Mega Jackpot on Saturday morning then I forgot about everything,” Korir recounted the events leading up to his cash windfall.

He added: “I have decided to give the two friends of mine Sh 8,733,619 for them to share, as a way of appreciating their assistance in helping me place the bets.”

His friends kept tabs on the jackpot matches while Korir left the town early on Sunday morning for a gruelling longjourney back to his work-station. His phone went off along the way as the battery charge diminished, forcing him to stop in Kapenguria to buy a car charger. A raft of notifications then hit his inbox mostly from his wife who informed him that his friends had gone by the house to tell him that the bets they had placed looked promising. Fourteen predictions out of 14 in one of the placed bets turned out right. He was three matches away from mega jackpot victory.

“I had never gotten that close to winning a big bet. My highest before Sunday was Sh990. My life changed from the moment I got a call from SportPesa Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ronald Karauri, informing me of the victory. I could not drive anymore due to excitement,” Korir said.

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