UAE: Sales call helps Indian expat win Dh12m Big Ticket

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on March 3, 2021
Shivamurthy Krishnappa and family. — Supplied photo

Shivamurthy Krishnappa had been trying his luck for the past four years.

Going by a customer service executive’s word to change his mind, an Indian expat based in Sharjah bought the Abu Dhabi Big Ticket in the middle of the month and won Dh12 million on Wednesday night.

Shivamurthy Krishnappa, a mechanical engineer from Karnataka state, used to follow a rotation system while purchasing tickets for the past four years, but broke it as he got a buy two get one offer from the executive. Every consecutive month, he would switch dates while buying tickets.

As per his rotation policy, Shivamurthy was supposed to purchase the ticket by the end of the month in February but a phone call from the Big Ticket customer service about an offer to buy two and get one free changed his mind. And hence, he bought his ticket number 202511 online on February 17.

“I had planned to buy the ticket on February 26 or 27 but I changed it after the phone call," he said.

“I landed here in 2005 and am working at a private company in Sharjah. I was trying my luck for three years along with my friends and colleagues. But all of them left the UAE. And I have been buying the ticket all by myself for the past one year,” said a beaming Shivamurthy, who was lost for words to describe his luck.

“I was buying tickets for all these years with a hope to hit the jackpot one day. Once you hit the big prize, then your life is settled forever. Of course, each ticket (costs Dh500) is a big amount to pay, and you have to think twice before buying. I trusted my day will come,” said Shivamurthy.

And for the first time, Shivamurthy bought tickets in the name of all other family members too: Wife Shwetha, daughter Shamitha who studies in Grade 5 and son Shan, who will start his kindergarten class next month. “And this is for the first time that I was watching the draw live too.”

“Yes, I am Shivamurthy. I am watching (the draw) now. Thank you so much. I am very, very happy Mr Richard,” he exclaimed as Richard from Big Ticket called him.

Shivamurthy noted he is blessed to win but will lead a normal life.

“I don’t have big plans. I am settled now in life. But I will continue to buy tickets.”

This is also for the first time in 2021 that a winner has been picked from the UAE, with the winners of January and February draw residing in Oman and Qatar respectively. This is also the third consecutive occasion that the grand winner is an Indian expat.

And even though the draw continued to be held remotely, the organisers added glitz and glamour to the show with live performances from dancers wearing masks on the floor.

There was another millionaire on the night. Abu Dhabi expat Jayaprakash Philip pocketed Dh1 million with his ticket number 167221 bought on February 7.


Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.

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