Winner of an airplane at the MTN Ultimate Wonder promo, Ebube Essien-Garricks, speaks with MAUREEN AZUH on how she became the lucky millionaire and her plans
Stories of a rise from grass to grace, to many people, may be a case of a happy ending in movies and works of fiction. But for Ebube Essien-Garricks, that popular saying is now just as real as the air she breathes.
The 27-year-old student of the Rivers State College of Health Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, is N64m richer. She emerged the winner of a Cessna 182T aircraft in the MTN Ultimate Wonder promo after a draw held in Lagos on November 13.
Expectedly, Essien-Garricks is still excited about the outcome of the lottery she says she could not remember taking part in.
�I was surprised when I was called by a family friend that I had won because I thought it was not real,� she says. �Before then, I had never played any game concerning MTN. Ironically my SIM card was blocked at the time. I had a code on my phone which I forgot and in the process of trying to decode it, my line was blocked.�
She adds that her family friend�s number was the last contact she made before her line was disconnected and so she was contacted through him.
�When he told me, I just told him to forget about it that it was the handiwork of 419 people. But later a lady called me from MTN to confirm it. I then asked her to unblock my line to convince me. She did so and it was at that point that I realised my fortune,� she says.
The unassuming young lady, who hails from Akinima in Ahoada West, Rivers State, is a 300-level student of radiography. She discloses that she had never dreamt of owning so much money in her lifetime, coming from a modest family background of eight children, where she is the seventh.
For her, however, winning N64m could only be a divine act, perhaps a manifestation of her full name, Ebubeomiso, meaning �the glory of God�.
She says, �I have never fainted in my life before, so when they called the amount I did not faint. I just became thirsty, I kept asking for water and I kept smiling, again and again. I thought I was dreaming but with the kind of people I have been shaking hands with, people hugging me, asking to take photographs with me, I think it�s an act of God. I can imagine how many numbers they played and mine was singled out, just like that.�
In these times, when owning a private jet is becoming the norm in Nigeria, some people may wonder why Essien-Garricks opted for cash equivalent instead of the airplane.
�If I took the plane, where would I park it?� she asks rhetorically. �I just told them it was the cash I really wanted and nothing else. I was not persuaded to take cash. If it is something I worked for, I would argue but I never laboured for it. They said either the plane or the cash equivalent and I chose the cash.�
However, Essien-Garricks is not in a hurry to spend the money. She will let it �breathe some fresh air in the bank� while she completes her education, she says.
Prior to her winning the lottery, she says, she planned to work as a radiographer after school but with the change of status comes her change of plans. �Now I will buy machines and work for myself. I will be an employer of labour,� she states.
She also plans to give her aging parents and siblings a �new life�. �My family needs a new level. This money is for them, not me only. God just wants to use me to bless the family so everybody has a share in it,� she enthuses.
When the news of her winning the lottery broke online, some comments about �the lucky guy� in her life came up � with some people advising whoever she is in a relationship with not to let go. But Essien-Garricks says she is single and when she is ready for marriage, she would not go for anyone who is interested in her money.
�I know what love is,� she notes. �People are calling to ask my parents if I am married, some others are giving them promises. Even on the Internet, I don�t have a Facebook account but someone has opened one in my name. If anyone is coming because of my money, I promise the person that he will not get a dime because I will make sure he doesn�t.�
On the current Nigerian Communications Commission�s ban of promos and lotteries from network providers, Essien-Garricks appeals that government should lift the ban and checkmate them.
�The fact is that lives are being changed through this. The most important thing is, if they promise, they should fulfil it,� she says
Culled from punch
Congrats to her again!! Njoy yur money jare
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