Dubai: Indian, Ethiopian win $1 million each in Duty Free Draw

Three others ride away with luxury vehicles


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Published: Wed 27 Sep 2023, 2:40 PM

Last updated: Thu 16 Nov 2023, 1:22 PM

Two UAE expats have been added to the growing list of dollar millionaire while three others won luxury vehicles when Dubai Duty Free conducted the latest draw for Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire and Finest Surprise promotion in Concourse A of Dubai International Airport.

Teklit Tesfaye, a 48-year-old Ethiopian national based in Dubai won a $1 million in Millennium Millionaire Series 435 with ticket number 4110, which he purchased online on September 15.

A regular participant in the Dubai Duty Free for almost 3 years, Tesfaye is a father of one and runs an import and export of commodities company in the Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone.

Currently visiting his family in Canada, Tesfaye was surprised to be awakened by a call informing him that he’s now a dollar millionaire and commented, “This is such good news to hear in the morning. Thank you so much, Dubai Duty Free! Now I can prove to my friends that this is real and hopefully encourage them to participate too."

Tesfaye is only the second Ethiopian national to have won $1 million since the start of the Millennium Millionaire promotion in 1999.

Joining Tesfaye as a fellow US dollar millionaire is Shamsudheen Cheruvattantavida, a 36-year-old Indian national based in Jebel Ali who was also announced the winner of $1 million in Millennium Millionaire Series 436 with ticket number 1229, which he purchased online on September 16.

Cheruvattantavida shared the ticket cost with his nine other friends and brother, who have been participating continually in the Dubai Duty Free promotion for a year now, alternating the name on the ticket for each series whenever they purchase.

The father of three, who works as a PRO for restaurants and supermarkets, was shocked when he learned that they had finally won and commented: “Thank you to Dubai Duty Free! This win will definitely help us a lot.”

Cheruvattantavida, who hails from Kerala, is the 216th Indian national to have won $1 million in the Millennium Millionaire promotion since in 1999 and Indian nationals are the biggest buyers of tickets.

Wednesday's draws were conducted by Dubai Duty Free's COO Ramesh Cidambi, Sinead El Sibai, SVP – Marketing, Mona Al Ali, SVP – Human Resources. Michael Schmidt, SVP – Retail and Zayed Al Shebli, SVP – Loss Prevention and Corporate Security.

Finest Surprise draw

Following the Millennium Millionaire presentation, the Finest Surprise draw was conducted for a car and two motorbikes. Joining in the draw were Salim Ibrahim, Senior Manager – Retail Sales and Thankachan Varghese, Senior Manager – Retail Support.

Samaira Grover, an Indian national based in Sharjah, won a BMW X5 M50i (Dravit Grey Metallic) car, with ticket number 0176 in Finest Surprise Series 1852, which she purchased on September 8, on her way to Mumbai from Dubai.

Grover is currently uncontactable, but will no doubt be surprised when he learns of his win.

Meanwhile, Nickson Ireri, a 37-year-old Kenyan national based in Dubai, won an Indian Chief Bobber (Stryker Red Metallic) motorbike, with ticket number 0649 in Finest Surprise Series 550, which he purchased online on September 8.

Ireri, works as a supervisor for a travel retail company for 13 years now.

“I’m very grateful for this opportunity, and I will continue to participate in the hope of making a second chance lucky, either for a car or for $1 million.”

Lastly, Thankachan Yohannan, a 60-year-old Indian national based in Dubai, won a Harley-Davidson Sportster S (Vivid Black) motorbike, with ticket number 0120 in Finest Surprise Series 551, which he purchased online on September 9.

A first-time ticket buyer, Yohannan is a father of two and works as a watchman for a real estate company.

“First of all, I’m thankful to God, and then second to Dubai Duty Free.”


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