UAE: After a long night shift, expat wakes up to learn he is a dollar millionaire

Sarath Kunnummal will share the amount with his 10 colleagues. — Supplied photo
Sarath Kunnummal will share the amount with his 10 colleagues. — Supplied photo

Dubai - Sarath Kunnummal woke up late in the evening on Wednesday to the news of his win at Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Thu 18 Feb 2021, 7:15 AM

Last updated: Thu 18 Feb 2021, 7:26 AM

Due to his odd working hours, 26-year-old Sarath Kunnummal was fast asleep when officials of the Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire tried to let him know he won $1 million.

A technical worker in the automobile industry, Indian expat Kunnummal became a dollar millionaire when his ticket 4275 was drawn on Wednesday.

He said he was on the late shift the night before, working from 7pm to 4am. He learnt about his windfall only by 6pm on Wednesday, when his roommates broke the news.

“I had slept off in the morning listening to some music. My phone was switched off in the process. No one could get through to me,” said Kunnummal, a Dubai resident since 2016.

The Kerala native plans to share his winnings with 10 of his workmates. “This is the first time we purchased the Dubai Duty Free ticket. Though we have been purchasing the Abu Dhabi Big Ticket for two years now, we’ve never won.”

Kunnummal came to the UAE with the help of a friend five years ago. “The money is going to be very useful for me right now as I am in the middle of building my house back home. Some of it can go towards construction costs,” he said.

An only son to aged parents, Kunnummal said: “My parents are both pretty old now. I can use the money to support them.”

He has gone back to India only once on vacation since he came to the UAE. “I can finally take some time off work and spend time in India.”

 wins luxury car

A Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise draw was also held on Wednesday for one luxury car and two motorbikes. Rhea Roopesh, a 17-year-old Indian national based in Abu Dhabi, won a BMW X6 M50i car, with ticket number 1149, which her father purchased under her name online on January 16. Roopesh is a 12th grader at the Abu Dhabi Indian School. “This is completely unexpected. My dad has been trying his luck for so many years and it feels amazing to finally win,” she said.

Erwin Speiser, a 53-year-old based in Austria, won a BMW F 900 XR motorbike. Speiser who was watching the live draw was ecstatic when he heard his name.

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