My Money Mistake is a weekly PiggyVest series that explores the worst money mistakes real Nigerians have made, and the lessons they learnt from it.
For this week’s episode of My Money Mistake, we spoke to a 25-year-old plumber who has lost over ₦500,000 to betting since 2017. He tells us about how he got into betting and the experience that ultimately led him to give it all up.
Could you tell me about your money mistake?
I got into betting in 2017, when I was pursuing my NCE programme, but I’ve suffered too many losses. I decided to quit betting last year, and was able to stay away for six months. Then, sometime in January, I fell back into it.
I stumbled on this Facebook account that promised guaranteed winning tickets. They assured me I was going to win if I played those games. I’m not sure what entered me, but I bought my ticket, only for me to lose again.
I’m so sorry about that. There must’ve been so many losses since 2017.
Yes, it is. I can’t remember the exact figure, but I’ve lost over ₦500,000. Of course, I didn’t lose all of it once. There was ₦1,000 here, ₦500 here, another ₦1,000 there — all over the past six years.
Why did you keep playing?
I think it’s hope. I kept hoping I would win someday and the win would erase all the previous losses. When you’re hustling, you never know when luck will shine on you, so you keep trying again and again, hoping that you win.
Did you ever win at all?
I won one game on the first day I bet. I played ₦100 and won ₦2,000. That was the first and last time I ever won.
Wow! After you managed to quit, why did you get sucked back in?
I don’t know what came over me, but I think it was the amount of money I would’ve won. For ₦10,000, I would’ve won over ₦1 million naira. That just gave me the courage to go after it. But I lost again.
How did you feel?
That is the most I’ve lost in one game, so I felt very bad. And I had plans for the money because it would’ve helped with other things in my life at that time. I kept thinking about it for a long time after I lost it, until I was able to get back to work.
How’s work now?
It’s going well. We are pushing and managing.
Do you still bet?
I don’t know about the future, but right now, betting has left my mind completely. I didn’t gain anything at all from it; I lost everything.
What lesson did you learn from the experience?
I learnt to not be too desperate to get rich quick. My desire to become rich overnight made me keep trying, even when it wasn’t working. I’ve learnt to start from where I am, and if I keep working hard, I will eventually make it.