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Indian winner of Dh15 million lottery thought it was a prank

anjana@khaleejtimes.com Filed on January 3, 2019 | Last updated on January 3, 2019 at 06.46 pm
Indian winner of Dh15 million lottery thought it was a prank

(alamy.com)

The winner has not come ahead and spoken to the lottery officials yet.

The winner of the Dh15 million Big Ticket raffle draw is still in disbelief, or so it seems. 

Officials said they still have not yet been able to convince Indian expat Sarath Purushothaman that he has actually won the biggest jackpot ever in the Big Ticket raffle draw held on Thursday morning at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

"We have reached out to him a few times since our initial call and want to reassure him that he is indeed the grand prize winner," Sheryl Fajardo, Assistant General Manager at the Big Ticket Abu Dhabi Duty Free, told Khaleej Times.

"He is disconnecting his phone when we try to talk to him. Maybe he is panicking at the moment," said an official.

Purushothaman's winning ticket no 083733 was picked in the raffle draw conducted on Thursday morning.  His name along with the detail of other winners have also been published on the Big Ticket's official website.

But convincing Purushothaman seemed more difficult than winning Dh15 million in a raffle draw. When the officials called him live on phone seconds after the winning ticket was announced, the man sounded far from being excited or even swayed by the good news.

"Hello, I am Richard from the Big Ticket and I only call the biggest winner. You have just won Dh15 million. Sarath, you are our biggest winner ever. How do you feel?"

"OK," came the icy cold response from the other side followed by mumbling in the Malayalam language in the background.

But, Richard, the official who picked the winner, was not ready to give up yet and dialled Purushothaman again. 

"It is no prank. You have really won. If you go to the internet or radio or our website, your name and ticket number are already showing.  It is no joke. You are a multimillionaire," Richard screamed in excitement as a small crowd around him eagerly waited to hear from the winner.

"First I will confirm then I will inform you," said Purushothaman and disconnected the call again in a jiffy.

Till this time, the winner has not come forth to have a conversation with the Big Ticker raffle officials let alone give media interviews.

A total of ten winners were announced, and as usual, mostly Indians walked away with the money. 

The second price, Dh100,000 was won by Indian expat, Jinachandran Vazhoor Narayanan with ticket number107150. 

Shahid Fareed with ticket number 002528 from Pakistan was declared the proud owner of the new BMW Series 4. 

Eight Indians, one  Pakistani and one Fiji national were among the winners at the raffle today.

author

Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.


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