3 Indian expats hit Dh20m jackpot minutes before selling off losing business in UAE
Korothan had planned to return to his home state of Kerala.
Three Indian expats from Ras Al Khaimah won Dh20 million in the Big Ticket raffle draw held behind closed doors in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
And this windfall couldn't have happened at a better time for the trio as they were about to close down their limousine service business, which they had started few months back. The friends were in last-ditch talks with clients to sell off the two limos they owned but then lady luck smiled just minutes before they were to leave on another round of meeting to secure a bailout.
Jijesh Korothan, who shares the prize money with friends Shahjahan Kuttikattil and Shanoj Balakrishnan, is much relieved.
"I am here for past 16 years. I have my wife and daughter here. For the last six months, we three friends are running a limousine rental service. But it didn't work well for us. We faced financial crisis. Past few months have been very difficult as the tourism sector is affected. For many days, we are sitting indoors as there is no demand for our services. With office rent, EMIs on limos, latest Covid-19 developments and uncertain future, we planned to wind up our operations. On Thursday, we met a client to sell our limos but didn't receive good price. Today (Friday) by 3pm, we had to meet another party and minutes before that, we have hit this jackpot."
On Friday, the draw was held at 2pm instead of 7.30pm because of the new Covid-19 regulations. If draw was held at usual time of 7.30pm, the trio might have sold away their limos.
Korothan had planned to return to his home state of Kerala. He, however, watched the draw live when host Richard announced the winning ticket number 041779 and his name.
"God has listened to our prayers. What more can I say? This is beyond words. Actually, I couldn't recollect my ticket number but when my name was announced, it was a magical moment. We had made plans to return to Kerala as things were falling apart here. Now, we can develop our business."
These friends were purchasing tickets for past few months and had bought the winning one on March 19. The celebrations, though, are on hold.
"This is no time for party but to help others. We have to fight this pandemic first," he said.
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