Indian driver in Dubai wins Dh20m in Abu Dhabi Big Ticket draw

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Renjith Somarajan
Renjith Somarajan

Abu Dhabi - Renjith Somarajan, who will share the amount with nine others, is about to join a new job next month


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Sat 3 Jul 2021, 11:03 PM

Dubai-based Indian driver Renjith Somarajan and nine others have pocketed a whopping Dh20 million in the Abu Dhabi Big Ticket draw on Saturday.

Somarajan has been purchasing tickets for the past three years and is thrilled with the surreal turn of events, including winning the jackpot while he was right in front of a mosque.

“I, wife Sanjivani Perera, and son Niranjan were returning from Hatta. We reached Ras Al Khor when I thought of buying some vegetables. While I was at the traffic signal, the second and third prizes were getting announced. I never thought I would hit the jackpot and had always pinned my hope on the second and third,” said the 37-year-old Keralite from Kollam district.

This time, the second and third prizes were Dh3 million and Dh1 million. “I moved on and saw a mosque on my way to the vegetable market. I just told the almighty that I missed again. But while I was driving to the vegetable market, something stirred my mind. I returned to the mosque. And believe it or not, my ticket number (349886) was called out. My eight-year-old son, who was following the event live, screamed in joy.”

Somarajan’s phone is now buzzing with congratulatory calls from friends and loved ones. He said it has been a tough life for him so far while hopping jobs in hope of a better salary.

“I have been here since 2008. I worked as a driver with Dubai Taxi and different companies. Last year, I worked as driver-cum-salesman with a company but with my salary deduction, it was a difficult life. Now, I have found a job as a driver-cum-PRO at a new company. I will join soon, maybe next month. My salary will be Dh3,500. My wife works at a hotel. I used to buy tickets with the aim of improving my quality of life. I always wanted to do my own business. I will consult my family and make a decision.”

Somarajan will be sharing the amount with nine others whom he gathered only recently.

“We are a total of 10 people. Others are from different countries, like India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. They work in the valet parking of a hotel. We took the ticket under the ‘buy two and get one free’ offer. Each person pooled Dh100. The ticket was taken in my name on June 29. What I can tell others is to continue trying your luck. I was always sure that my lucky day would come. I was always sure the almighty would bless me one day.”

However, Somarajan has a hard part left: To convince his mother that he has actually become a millionaire. “I used to always call her and pretend that I have won millions, and she would believe me. But now that I have actually got lucky, she refuses to take my word,” the new millionaire chuckled.

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