Early Christmas gift for 14-year-old $1-million winner
Elon Parkinson, public relations and communications manager of Digicel (left), presenting a symbolic $1-million cheque to the final Golden SIM promotion winner 14-year-old Kareem Wynter (centre) and his mother Shereen Gayle-Baker at the Cecil Charlton Park in Mandeville last Saturday. (Photo: Gregory Bennett)

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — When 14-year-old Kareem Wynter received a call to say he won $1 million he thought it was a scam, but after realising it was legitimate, he immediately started planning how to make good use of the money.

The Belair High School student last Saturday got an early Christmas gift, as he was presented a symbolic $1-million cheque in the Cecil Charlton Park in Mandeville, being the final Digicel Golden SIM promotion winner.

"I was outside one day washing off my bicycle and I got the phone call. I was asking 'who is this' and they [Digicel] were saying I won $1 million. I never believed at first. I gave my grandmother the phone and they said they would call back within 48 hours and they did," he told the Jamaica Observer.

The final Digicel Golden SIM promotion winner 14-year-old Kareem Wynter (Photo: Gregory Bennett)

Kareem plans to use his winnings to treat himself and prepare for his tertiary education.

"I feel very good. I am happy. I am going to buy a new phone and use the rest to go to university. I want to study electrical technology. I want to be diverse in the electrical field," he said.

His mother, Shereen Gayle-Baker, was elated and described the teen as an avid saver.

"…I am really proud that all my spending on buying credit towards his phone has paid off. He is a good saver whenever he earns [even] a little bit of money he puts it in his bank account. I know that guiding him will be no problem. The university course that he is going to do is going to take a lot of money, so I am grateful to Digicel for giving him the start," she said.

Elon Parkinson, public relations and communications manager of Digicel (Photo: Gregory Bennett)

Elon Parkinson, public relations and communications manager of Digicel, said Kareem was their youngest winner and another example of how Digicel connected with Jamaica from a very early age.

"We are known to be the provider of choice for young people when it comes on to getting their first smartphone and their first experience on the Internet," he said. "We are very pleased to know that we have such a young winner with big dreams and we know how important this $1 million will be towards him achieving his goals," he added.

Parkinson said Digicel customers had an opportunity to win one million dollars, if the serial number on their SIM card matched the weekly Golden SIM number.

He explained that two customers who didn't answer their phones lost their chance of winning $2 million.

Romeich Entertainment girls dancing at Digicel's event at the Cecil Charlton Park in Mandeville last Saturday. (Photo: Gregory Bennett)

"[It] was our way of saying thank you to our over two million customers here in Jamaica for 21 amazing years of staying connected…We were hoping to give 21 customers $1 million each [but] it turns out that we ended up gifting 18 customers because for two straight weeks [selected] customers did not answer their phones when we called them to let them know that they were the lucky Golden SIM winners. The money rolled over to $3 million and one lucky customer from Portland won it," he explained.

BY KASEY WILLIAMS Observer staff reporter kaseyw@jamaicaobserver.com

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