Dubai: Woman wins $1 million after buying Duty Free ticket with husband's cash gift

The Indian visitor said she bought a ticket every time they travelled, alternating the names on the tickets


Angel Tesorero

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Payal Payal with her family. Photo: Supplied
Payal Payal with her family. Photo: Supplied

Published: Thu 16 May 2024, 4:13 PM

Last updated: Thu 16 May 2024, 9:47 PM

In April, an Indian housewife received cash from her husband as a wedding anniversary gift. She used the money to buy a raffle draw ticket, and on Thursday, May 16, that ticket netted her $1 million. It was a gift that kept on giving.

Mrs Payal Payal, 42, from Punjab, hit the jackpot at the Dubai Duty Free (DDF) Millennium Millionaire series 461 with ticket number 3337 she purchased online on May 3.

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“The money I used to buy the winning ticket came from my husband (Harnek Singh), who gifted me Dh1,000 on our 16th wedding anniversary on April 20. I thought of buying a DDF ticket online with the money, and I picked the ticket with most number 3s in it,” Payal told Khaleej Times over the phone after hearing the good news from the raffle draw organisers.

Payal, whose birthday is on 12-12 and her favourite number is 3, said she has been buying DDF tickets for the past 12 years. Every time they travelled, she bought one, alternating the names on the tickets with her husband's and children’s names.

Payal Payal with husband Harnek Singh
Payal Payal with husband Harnek Singh

“I used to buy DDF once or twice every year at the airport but I took exception last time when, for the first time, I bought ticket online,” she shared, joyfully adding: “It was a gift that kept on giving — the cash gift from husband made us a millionaire."

Payal said she was in disbelief when DDF organisers called her to break the good news. Then it sunk in and the first person she told of the win was her mother-in-law, who was with her at home.

“Then I called my husband and told him of the jackpot. I was so happy and tears of joy rolled out as I spoke to him. The kids (twins aged 14) don’t know the news yet, but we will tell them once we pick them up from school this (Thursday) afternoon,” she added.

When asked how she plans to spend the money, she said: “It’s still very early to decide. But, of course, our priority is to secure my kids' future – to give them really good education for a good life.

“I would also like to help my brother, who is in Australia, and do some charity work within our Punjabi community. Thank you, Dubai Duty Free, for fulfilling my dream of winning your promotion. This will go a long way,” she added.

Payal is the 229th Indian who won the Millennium Millionaire promotion.

Another millionaire

Meanwhile, a 48-year old British mother of four also won $1 million on Thursday in series 460 draw with ticket number 3184 she purchased on April 4 on her way to Bahrain.

Nasrin S said it was her first time to buy a ticket. “I never thought that I’m going to win, as I didn’t even tell anyone that I bought a ticket,” she added.

Other winners

Eid Ali, a 37-year-old Emirati living in Dubai, won a Mercedes Benz SL55 (alpine grey) car with ticket number 1233 he purchased online on April 10.

Nawaf Saad, 64, from Saudi Arabia, won a Range Rover Sport Dynamic HSE P400. This is the third time he won a luxury vehicle. He previously brought home a Mercedes Benz S500 in July last year and a BMW X6 M50i back in June 2022.

Bijoy Gomes, 48, an Indian expat based in Jeddah won an Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory motorbike; while Firasal Khatib,43, won a BMW R 1250 RT motorbike.


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