Dubai airport employee wins $1 million after trying for 6 years
He had hit the jackpot when he purchased the ticket on March 14.
George Thomas, 43, an Indian expatriate from Muvattupuzha in Kerala and an employee of Dubai International Airport (DXB), is on cloud nine after he won the Duty-Free Millennium Millionaire Promotion.
Thomas, a resident of Sharjah for the last 10 years, said his children's future is secure, as the lady luck has finally smiled on him after his valiant attempt for the last six years.
He is a father of three children and his wife is in a family way with his fourth child. He had hit the jackpot when he purchased the ticket on March 14. And 2016, the winning number, has proved to be a life-altering experience for him.
However, his constant bid for the past six years had left him with no great expectations. It was more like rites of passage and going through the motions.
But dame luck has had other ideas for Thomas, who works as a supply chain and logistics supervisor at DXB. On a wing and a prayer, he purchased the ticket.
"Contrary to popular perception, I never bought tickets every month. I'd, at best, buy around five times a year. This time around , I was just walking past the ticket sales counter.. I decided to purchase on a whim. I had no expectation I would win it," he added.
"When I told my wife about the win, she thought I was joking. We're expecting our fourth child. The win has secured my children's future" he said.
At present, his wife and children are back home in his native Kerala. "I found it hard to see the children confined in four walls, when the Covid-19-induced lockdown happened last year. I sent them back home with my wife two months ago. Now, they're attending schools in Kerala. They're much happier there," he added.
Earlier, his children used to study at GEMS Millennium School. Thomas is open-ended about what to do with his windfall gains.
"I've yet to make any plans on what to do with the money. I shall do so in due course," he added.
Thomas is the 179th Indian national to have won $1 million since the start of the Millennium Millionaire promotion in 1999. Indian nationals make up the highest number of Dubai Duty-Free Millennium Millionaire ticket buyers.
Following the Millennium Millionaire draw the Finest Surprise draw was conducted for a luxury car and two motorbikes. Hatem Yehia, 53, a Lebanese national based in Sharjah for the past 30 years, won a Mercedes Benz GLS 580 4M (Obsidian Black) car, with ticket number 1128 in Finest Surprise Series 1770, which he purchased at The Irish Village on March 5.
A regular participant in Dubai Duty Free's promotion for 20 years now, Yehia, a father of two children, worked as a Sales Manager for Al Shams Technical Works in Dubai. "I cannot believe it! After a very long time, I finally won in Dubai Duty Free!" he said.
Aryan Ravindra Shenoy, 17, an Indian national based in Dubai, won a BMW F 850 GS (Black/Yellow) motorbike, with ticket number 0653 in Finest Surprise Series 449. His mother, Vidya Shenoy, had bought the ticket in his name on their return to Dubai from India on March 13.
Shenoy is a pupil of Grade XII at GEMS New Millennium School.
"We've been participating in Dubai Duty Free promotion for around three years now and we always put the ticket under our only son's name because we consider him our lucky charm," she said.
Deepak Raghunath Sharma, 44, an Indian national based in Sharjah won an Indian Scout Bobber (Jade Smoke) motorbike, with ticket number 0643 in Finest Surprise Series 450, which he purchased online on March 25.
Sharma, a resident of Sharjah for 10 years, who works as a property sales agent, has been participating in Dubai Duty Free promotion for the past four years.
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