Expats hit Dh15m Big Ticket just before 'planning exit from UAE'
Now, the group can afford to decide to stay in Dubai as each of them got richer by Dh750,000.
Just as when a group of Indian expats started thinking about leaving the UAE for good, they hit the Dh15-million Big Ticket jackpot in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Noufel Mayan Kalathil, a Dubai-based Indian expatriate who is among the 20-member group, said the jackpot offers a "a second lease of life", especially for his friends who had been facing difficulties and considering returning home to India. They are doing low-income jobs at shops in Al Qusais. They couldn't buy tickets online as they didn't even own credit cards.
Their friend, Kalathil, who works as an administration officer at a firm in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, bought the lucky ticket. Now, they can afford to decide whether to stay in Dubai or fly home - as each of them got richer by Dh750,000.
"This win is really helpful for my friends working at shops. They don't earn much. Struggling through a difficult situation these days, most of them were on their way back to Kerala before this unexpected lottery win," said Kalathil, who has been living in Dubai since 2005.
"I have a stable job. For me, I will be able to clear my debt and save for the education of two sons, Mazin and younger one Emir."
The 45-year-old native of Kannur district has been buying the Big Ticket raffle coupons every two months for the past two years.
"I would usually buy a ticket with two to three colleagues. But this time, we had a big group of 20 people, including me. We availed of the buy-two-get-one-free offer. So, each person chipped in Dh50 so we could get two Dh500 tickets. This way, the financial burden wouldn't be too much for anyone in the group," the expat said. "Luckily, my name was called by the Big Ticket's Richard."
Win a ticket every month
Big Ticket organisers have announced a new promotion called 'Living the Dream', through which a lucky person will be able to win a ticket every month for the rest of the year.
From July 13 to 24, people have been asked to submit 15-second videos of the talents or hobbies they acquired during quarantine. Only one person will be declared a winner of the contest.
Also, if a person has purchased a Big Ticket between January 1 and June 30, he or she stands a chance to be one of the 12 lucky winners who can win two tickets for the draw on August 2. Names will be announced on July 12.
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