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‘We want to drive inclusiveness for Nigerians to benefit from big global lotteries’

By Chijioke Iremeka
15 October 2022   |   4:00 am
International Gaming and Entertainment was established to drive inclusiveness for Nigerian lottery players and enthusiasts to benefit from the real BIG lotteries played across the world.

Victor Nwaobia is the Chief Operating Officer at International Gaming and Entertainment Limited, owners of the Megamillions Naija Lotteries in Nigeria. Having worked as an operator and regulator, he has unique insight and experience to deliver products and services that resonate with the gaming public in Nigeria.

In this interview with CHIJIOKE IREMEKA, he spoke on the vision of the organistion and its resolve to give Nigerians access to international gaming platforms.

What is the philosophy or thinking behind the Megamillions Naija Lotteries in Nigeria? And what makes you different from the others?
International Gaming and Entertainment was established to drive inclusiveness for Nigerian lottery players and enthusiasts to benefit from the real BIG lotteries played across the world. Prior to this moment, Nigerians had to travel out of the country to be able to play international lotteries across the UK, Europe, America, Australia, Canada, etc. This was due to the fact that they needed to be physically residents or visit the home countries of these lotteries in order to participate and play in their currency.

We felt this posed a challenge to Nigerians winning these huge lottery jackpots and decided to do something about it. Our tenacity and push gave birth to the establishment of the Megamillions Naija lotteries platform, which has partnership agreements with well over 20 international lotteries. These lotteries on our platform can now be accessed and played with our local currency, the Naira.

International Gaming & Entertainment Limited operates MegaMillions Naija. We are licensed and regulated by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission. Our unique business model allows you to enter for a chance of winning any of the leading global lotteries. When you enter one of our lotteries, you play in Naira. We purchase tickets in the major overseas lotteries, and when the ticket is drawn and any prize is won; the ticket owner is paid the Naira equivalent.

What’s unique about your operations and offerings?
Our business model enables players who cannot afford to buy full tickets to play Group Games. The Group Game allows you to purchase a share of a ticket for as low as N100 per share. When the ticket wins a jackpot prize or any of the other categories of winnings, those who bought part shares of the ticket will share the largesse.

This makes playing these international lotteries affordable for all segments of society. You can win life-changing jackpots and prize money with as little as N100.

What are the international lotteries available to Nigerians on your platform?
We have on our platform the major lotteries across the USA, like the US Megamillions, US Powerball, NY Lotto, Super Lotto Plus, Cash4Life and CA Fantasy 5.

In the UK and Europe, we have the UK Lotto, EuroMillions, Euro Jackpot, La Primitiva, El Gordo, BonoLoto, and SuperEnaloto.
In Australia, we have the Australian Powerball, OZ Lotto, AU Saturday, AU Monday & Wednesday, and in Canada, we have Lotto649, with a lot more being signed up.

How are your lotteries different from sports betting and the local lotteries played in Nigeria?
The first difference is that at Megamillions Naija Lotteries, the value of the jackpots is not capped and is nothing compared to the capped wins of sports betting and local lotteries in Nigeria. For instance, the jackpot value of the US Powerball lottery today is well over N174 billion. This is just one single lottery on our platform. When you sum up all the lottery jackpots on our platform at each point in time, it runs into hundreds of billions of Naira. No sports betting odds can deliver that.

Secondly, one does not need or require any special skill set or knowledge of the game to play any of the lotteries on our platform. All you need to do is choose a set of numbers from a group and play them, or you can allow the system to choose random numbers for you. This is much easier than the knowledge of games, football players form, transfer news, team selections or skill requirements to make an informed odds decision in sports betting.
Anyone above 18 years of age can play any of the lotteries on the Megamillions Naija Lottery platform. You can also access the ‘How to Play on our website.

Since the lottery is about selection of numbers to win a game, how does one select their number?
There are two ways to pick numbers: 

The first one is the Quick Pick All. When you choose Quick Pick All, the system generates random numbers for the specificc lottery game and added to your cart. You can keep clicking until your see a selection of numbers you like or feel would win. The Quick Pick All option is for one draw only.

The second is choosing your own numbers, and you can do this by clicking the number on the play slip. Once chosen, it will be highlighted. You will have the option of selecting numbers on more than one play slip.

Based on people’s perceptions, lottery business is generally believed to be prone to manipulation when it comes to selecting winners. How is MegaMillions Naija tackling this issue to ensure there is fairness and transparency in the selection process?
The lotteries on our platform are international lotteries that have built credibility and operational transparency over the years and are strictly regulated by worldclass institutions. Our business is technology-driven, driven by full proof systems. Winners emerge from a very transparent, publicly monitored draw.

Once you register and select your numbers, the system automatically generates your ticket. Whatever lottery you choose, draws are held on different days for each.

For example, the U.S. Powerball is held thrice a week. Let’s say you purchased a ticket for the Saturday draw. In each draw, winning numbers are selected using two ball machines: one containing the white balls and the other containing the red Powerballs. Five white balls are drawn from the first machine and the red ball from the second machine to win the jackpot. If your selected numbers match these numbers, it will reflect in your account that you have won the jackpot and a mail will be sent to you immediately.

Are there any fees attached to winning any of these lotteries?
Megamillions Naija lotteries do not charge fees or take any commission on winnings.

How will a winner know if he has won?
This will be reflected in your MegaMillions account, and you will also receive an email that you have won.

Can one win more than one lottery?
It is very possible. We have over 20 international lotteries on our platform. For instance, if you purchase tickets to play the U.S. Powerball and the U.S. MegaMillions and your selected numbers for each lottery match the drawn numbers, you have automatically won for yourself the two lotteries, and your numbers match the drawn numbers for the two lotteries. 

Are you planning activities for other African countries?
It is our vision to make international lotteries accessible not just to Nigerians, but to other Africans as well. As technology has made it easier to connect with anyone in the world, we are leveraging this to make our platform accessible to other African countries in the future.

What has been the market reaction so far to Megamillions Naija Lotteries?
Nigerians are generally positive people and lucky. I have a good feeling one lucky Nigerian is going to win huge jackpot.

We commence commercial operations this year and the reception has ben very encouraging across board. Players already knew about these international lotteries and new enthusiasts are registering daily and playing the lotteries on our platform. The odds will favor Nigerians, most especially as we plan to reward registered players on our platform very soon with the launch of our mouthwatering campaign.

Register and play to find out the amazing winnings available.