It was Sunday afternoon, Niyi was back at home and his girlfriend was visiting. It was a nice afternoon, church had been wonderful, everything looked great but he had a something huge to worry about. About a month ago he lost his job but that was okay, he had already interviewed at three other organizations. He knew something was going to turn up but it was taking longer than he hoped. He had spent most of what he had and he was left with just twenty thousand naira. Losing that twenty thousand was exactly what he was worried about.
It all started when his cousin came to him with an idea.
“Niyi, I just bet 10 K on TBoss to win Big Brother Nigeria.”
Niyi shook his head and laughed. His cousin was a gambler, a serial gambler. Unfortunately he was a successful one so there was nothing anyone could say to dissuade him. Niyi was not a gambler, he had never placed a bet in his life. He had not watched too much of Big Brother either. His subscription expired just a week into the show and before he got another to renewing the subscription, he lost his job.
“Look Niyi, TBoss is going to win for sure. Just check the trends.”
Even though he did not watch the show, he could not argue with what he saw online. Everybody he knew was voting for TBoss. Even his girlfriend.
“How much do you have right now?” His cousin asked.
“How long can that last you?”
Niyi did not have a good answer to that question. His cousin was a born salesman and he sold him on the bet. Niyi had no clue how everything worked but he trusted his professional gambler cousin with his twenty thousand.
Now he waited, fingers crossed for the show to end.
That afternoon, he and his girlfriend ate the last thing chicken and chips in his fridge. It was his last supper, except this was lunch. Now all he had to do was wait.
The winner had been announced and he and his cousin along with everybody he knew were wrong, TBoss did not win. He started to panic but he told himself to calm down. His cousin was too good to lose all the money, something good could still come out of this. And thank God, at least TBoss came third.
He went to sleep that night with hope in his heart. Everything will be fine in the morning.
He woke the next morning to a knock on his door. He slid off the bed and stumbled to the door. He opened it and his cousin entered.
“Oh boy, see walaha yesterday o. I no believe am.” His cousin said.
“How do you make money off this gambling when you cannot even predict who will win simple big brother Nigeria?”
“Even the best miss it sometimes so don’t blame me.”
Niyi went back to the bed and got under the sheets. One of the advantages of joblessness was spending Monday mornings on the bed.
“Hope you are fine sha. You are not going to starve or anything?”
Niyi smiled. “No, I won’t starve. So TBoss didn’t win, it’s not like I lost everything.”
“I like your attitude.” His cousin said. “In fact, for that attitude, I’ll make another bet for you. Arsenal versus Crystal Palace tonight.”
“No, I’m not turning to a gambler like you just because I won some money on my first gamble.”
“You won money? What did you bet on?”
Niyi chuckled. “Very funny.”
“Alright then, it’s time to leave.” His cousin said. “I just came to see if you were fine.”
“You’ve not gone to the betting place yet?”
“Of course not, it’s too early.” He said. ”It’s a little less now so I’m going now.”
“Before you go, so how much did I win?”
His cousin turned back and looked at him. “How much did you win where?”
“Last night’s bet now, on Tboss.”
“Are you crazy? Didn’t we just talk about her not winning?”
“Yeah, she wasn’t first but she was third.”
“First, second and third wins something, right?” His heart was racing now.
His cousin laughed. He laughed so hard, he ended up in a coughing fit.
“Do you think this is Olympics or World Cup? Only first place takes the money.”
Niyi smiled, very nervous but still hanging on to hope. “I know only Efe won the money but I’m talking about my bet. The person I bet on came third, how much do I get for that?”
“Oh God, my cousin is a fool.”
Niyi jumped off the bed. “I don’t win anything?”
“Your money is gone! Finished. Disappeared.”
Niyi put his hands on his head and thought about how stupid he was. He had no clue how this betting thing worked yet he put all he had into it. He had to get a job soon or he was in big trouble. It did not even matter if he got a job, he was already in trouble. He would never forgive himself for this foolishness.
“Niyi?” His cousin called him. “So about that Arsenal match? It’s a sure game, Arsenal will win. Are you in?”