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Abdussalam N.V. lives in Muscat, Oman. (Supplied photo)
Abdussalam N.V. lives in Muscat, Oman. (Supplied photo)

Indian expat who won Dh20-million Big Ticket prize found in Muscat

Abu Dhabi - He mistakenly used the Indian telephone code +91 instead of +968 for his number in Oman.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Mon 4 Jan 2021, 1:27 PM

Last updated: Mon 4 Jan 2021, 1:32 PM

After a chase that lasted hours, the winner of the Dh20-million Big Ticket Abu Dhabi draw was finally found. Abdussalam N.V., a 28-year-old expat from the south Indian state of Kerala, is actually living in Oman’s capital of Muscat, where he runs a shopping centre.

When he purchased the ticket, Abdussalam had mistakenly used the Indian telephone code +91 for his Oman mobile number instead of +968 — because of which, Big Ticket organisers were not able to reach him right away on Sunday. The automated message in Malayalam language gave the impression that the winner was in Kerala.

The organisers requested community members to help find the new millionaire who was not aware he just got Dh20 million richer.

Luckily for Abdussalam, a friend broke the best news of his life. “I didn’t realise that I had given Indian telephone code,” a jubilant Abdussalam told Khaleej Times over the phone from Muscat, where he has been residing for more than six years. His ticket number 323601, bought on December 29, made him the first lucky winner of this year’s raffle draw in the UAE.

“This is my fourth or fifth attempt of trying my luck in the Big Ticket. I will be sharing the amount with my friends. I have to check how many are there. I can’t tell now. But there are more people,” said Abdussalam, who hails from Kozhikode district of Kerala.

Amid the pandemic, Abdussalam had some happy memories. Just three months ago, he became a father to his second child, and his family will be joining him soon.

“With fear of coronavirus, I sent my pregnant wife and daughter to Kerala. My wife gave birth to a baby boy three months back. Now my family will return here this week.”

Abdussalam, who is now well settled with a happy family, hopes to conduct mass weddings for financially needy families.


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