Man becomes overnight millionaire after digging up huge gemstones worth $3.35 million (Photos)

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By Benjamin B

The government handed Saniniu Laizer a cheque for 7.74 billion Tanzanian shillings (£2.4million) for the two dark violet-blue stones, each about the size of a forearm, during a trading event in the northern region of Manyara yesterday.

Laizer discovered the chunks in one of the tanzanite mines in the north of the country which are surrounded by a wall to control cross-border smuggling of the valuable mineral.

‘There will be a big party tomorrow,’ Laizer, who has four wives and 30 children, told the BBC. The 52-year-old said that he would slaughter a cow to celebrate his good fortune.

He vowed to use some of his earnings to build a school and a shopping mall in his community, adding that many locals can’t afford to pay for their children’s education.

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But he insisted that his lifestyle would not change and that he would continue to look after his herd of 2,000 cows.

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