Nigerian Man Wins Over a Million Naira in One Month Betting on Football

Explore the fascinating story of Okunsola Samuel, a Nigerian punter who turned a modest bet into over 1 million Nigerian Naira in winnings, sharing insights into his strategic approach and passion for football analysis in an exclusive interview with SportsBoom

As millions of its young population bet on sports online, the streets of Nigeria, one of Africa's most prominent sports betting markets, house one of the highest numbers of sports betting shops on the continent. Young men constantly flood every physical sports betting location, from tiny kiosks to sizable buildings housing these bookmakers. Each of them holding bet slips, and hoping to hit life-changing wins.

Unexpected Luck: A Million Naira Win

Okunsola Samuel is one of the country's over 80 million punters who got an unexpected lucky break. The father of two recorded a hit of over 1 million Nigerian Naira (a thousand USD) in a series of weekly bets in one month, causing a celebratory eruption in his neighborhood in Ile Ife, Ondo State.

In an exclusive interview with the SportsBoom team, he discussed how he casually made over 100x on all the bets he placed in October 2023, with 1000 Naira ($1) as the lowest stake amount and 2000 Naira ($2) as the maximum.

The punter said, “I placed eight bets in October on La Liga and won most of them. It is not the first time this has happened, but these made my month because I made over a million Naira when you add up all the wins. The highest one was 592,304.98 across several games played on the 22nd of October.”

Recalling the events, he said, “If you remember the Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao match, you'll know it was a hot one. That match was on the ticket as home-to-win. I bet 1000 Naira on that ticket, so that's almost 600 times the stake I won back. That same day, I won another 126,025.53 on the same set of games, but this time, I limited my ticket to 4 games and staked 2000. That's over 700,000 naira. People ask me how I did it, and I have no special tricks besides following matches back to back and studying team performances.”

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Samuel recorded significant wins of 142,000 and over 300,000 Naira four days prior, bringing his total wins in 96 hours to over a million. "On the 18th, I also won two betting tickets with a mix of the same game combinations. The first one was 321,734.32 with a 1000 Naira bet, but there were about eight games on it, and the second was 142,527.12, which was the same amount but with only five games.”

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Samuel says he placed four other bets that paid out over 1.2 million Naira earlier in the month, and what helped him was not putting all his eggs in a single basket. “I like to split my games into different tickets because a single game has cost me the chance at a 5 million naira win before. If you notice, I always bet on two tickets each time, and one must have more games than the other. The games I am 75% certain will play out, as I predict, will make it to the first ticket. Then, I add some extra to bulk up the second ticket.”

Strategy and Success: A Punter's Tale

When asked how he got into sports betting, the chemical engineer stated that it all began in 2012, when the country's online sports betting industry was in its infancy. Emphasizing that he initially had no interest in gambling, but his curiosity and love for football analysis were the only push he needed.

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I had seen many people bet on sports, but I never went beyond supporting my preferred team on match days because, in Nigeria, we don't bet on things we can't accurately predict.

Okunsola Samuel

Then, one Tuesday, my friend Tayo and I sat down to watch a live match, which led to a heated analysis. That was when he suggested that we bet on the next match, the 2012 FA Cup finals, hoping my team, Chelsea, would lose to Liverpool."

Samuel placed his first football wager the following weekend because he had faith in his Chealse football team and didn't want to back down from a challenge. 

"I won't say it was anger, but it was like a burning feeling to prove my point. Of course, football can go in any direction, but if I studied my team's recent performance and other factors, I might have control over my choices in the betting market. That was how I waited till the next weekend and called Tayo to let him know I was placing a 2000 Naira bet on Chelsea to win or draw, and he said he was doubling the bet amount as he was certain they'd lose."
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While the match ended in a win rather than a draw or loss, his first reaction was to call his friend. “I called Tayo, my guy, right away to laugh as terribly as I could because, for once, I felt like I knew what I was talking about, and I had bragging rights as a fan of the latest FA Cup winner. That was when it hit me that I had won my first stake in football, and the rest, as they say, is history. I remember placing that bet at a Bet9ja shop near my street. It was a 2-odd stake, so that was a 4000 Naira win for me, and it was enough to cover the bills for celebratory drinks for me and consolation drinks for Tayo. Fun memories.”

Samuel shared with us that his 2 million plus sports betting wins went a long way in helping him complete the electrical part of his building construction projection. “My October wins were very timely, considering how expensive electrical materials had just become, and I was at the point of wiring my building. I withdrew the wins and added them to what I had set aside to complete the electrical, so that’s one step closer to completing my dream home.”

While he made it clear that sports betting was just a hobby for him and that he had never chased wins, he appreciated how his passion for football was paying off. With SportyBet at the center of his most recent wins, it emphasizes the recent shift of a large percentage of bettors in the market to this reasonably new sportsbook. Samuel added that he compared odds across different sportsbooks before placing his October bets and realized SportyBet had one of the most competitive ones on football.