$1 million Dubai raffle winner to gift prize money to father

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on May 1, 2019 | Last updated on May 1, 2019 at 07.51 am
Sara Elrayah Ahmed and her dad Elrayah Ahmed Ismail.-Supplied photo
Sara Elrayah Ahmed and her dad Elrayah Ahmed Ismail.-Supplied photo

A student of Nile University in Sudan, Sara said her parents and the rest of the family live in Bahrain.

Indo-Sudanese medical student Sara Elrayah Ahmed (21) gave her father what can be called the 'biggest surprise of his life'. The winner of this month's $1 million in the Dubai Duty-Free (DDF) Millennium Millionaire Promotion, Ahmed purchased the ticket while being stuck in Dubai Airport due to a six-hour flight delay.

Sara, a student in the final year of her studies, said: "I was travelling from Mumbai to Manama and got stuck in the airport due to a flight delay." While waiting at the airport, she purchased the ticket towards the end of March. She could not believe her luck when she was told she won the draw on Tuesday (April 30).

"It was the first time that I have ever purchased a ticket for a lucky draw. I got the ticket to my dad as a surprise. I didn't tell him what it was. However, I did not expect to win either," said a jubilant Sara. "I was very shocked. I thought it was a prank, and I immediately called my dad, laughing hysterically, and told him the good news. He was also very happy," she added.

A student of Nile University in Sudan, Sara said her parents and the rest of the family live in Bahrain. She, however, moved to Sudan to pursue her higher studies.

She explained: "My father is Sudanese and my mother is Indian. I have an Indian passport." The 21-year-old always wanted to be a doctor, right from her childhood days. "I've always wanted to grow up, study in the medical field. After this, I want to do my surgical residency and become a surgeon."

Sara wants to pursue her masters in Europe, and hopes this money will help her realise that dream. The second of four children, Sara has three siblings. "We are two boys and two girls. My older brother is doing his Masters in Pune, India," she added.

She also wishes to support her family financially. "My mom and dad have done everything for us. My father is my biggest support, and mother is a housewife. They have gone through hell for us. Everything they have done, they have done for us. This is a good way to repay everything," she added.

The Dubai Duty-Free Millennium Millionaire draw was conducted by Colm McLoughlin, executive vice-chairman and CEO; Ramesh Cidambi, chief operating officer; Salah Tahlak, executive vice-president - corporate services; and Sinead El Sibai, senior vice-president - marketing. Following the draw for the Millennium Millionaire, three more winners were also announced in the Dubai Duty-Free Finest Surprise promotion, with each one winning a luxury vehicle. Russian national Irina Druzhinina won a McLaren 570S Spider (Volcano Orange) while Jaswinder Singh Brar, an Indian national based in Dubai, won a Range Rover HSE 340 HP (Fuji White). Both winners were not contactable at the time of the draw.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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