UAE: 20 friends win Dh15-million Big Ticket prize after buying nearly 30 raffle entries every month

All the Indian expats, who live in Umm Al Quwain and Dubai, hail from the state of Kerala; most pitched in money for tickets even as they struggled with financial difficulties


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Tue 4 Jul 2023, 8:50 AM

Last updated: Tue 4 Jul 2023, 10:40 PM

‘Try, try till you succeed’ was the mantra followed by a bunch of Indian expats from Umm Al Quwain and Dubai, who have finally bagged Dh15 million grand prize in Big Ticket’s raffle draw series 253 held in Abu Dhabi.

This group of 20 friends hailing from Kerala got lucky after purchasing close to 30 tickets a month of different draws like Big Ticket, Mahzooz, Emirates Draw, and more.

Nihal Parambath, 28 years old, bought the winning ticket number 061908 in the name of his father-in-law Mohammed Ali Moideen, a 56-year-old who had been trying his luck for decades now.

Moideen, a UAQ resident for more than 30 years, is currently away on a short vacation to his native place of Kerala. Probably hoping to receive the highly anticipated call from Big Ticket show hosts Richard and Bouchra, Moideen left his phone with Parambath.

Parambath, who has been working in UAQ, spoke to Khaleej Times about being pranked by his friends ahead of the live draw and his utter disbelief at the windfall.

“My father-in-law, who works as an accountant, has been purchasing tickets for decades. He used to drive to Abu Dhabi International Airport and Al Ain Airport to buy tickets from in-store counters. I made him switch to online purchases. He used to buy alone or along with a few others. Two months back, I got together a group of friends to pool money and purchase tickets. Most of them are based in Dubai and hail from Kozhikode (a district in Kerala),” said Parambath, who is working as a purchasing manager at a firm in UAQ.

Most people in the group are working in different jobs like sales, PRO, managers, etc.

“Most of my friends are facing hardships. Some couldn’t pool money and will do so after receiving their salaries this week. So, I contributed their share to buy tickets. This windfall will help everyone to settle their financial issues. In the future, we may start some business either together or individually.”

To maximise opportunities to win and change their destiny, Parambath urged everyone in the group to pool money to try buying an average of 25-30 tickets for different draws in the past two months.

“We have been purchasing around eight tickets a week from different draws, and an average of 25 to 30 tickets a month. You can win only by trying to maximise opportunities.”

Getting pranked on the big day

And his gang of friends pranked Parambath just before the grand prize was to be announced.

“I wasn’t watching the draw live, but my friends were. Halfway through the show, they called me to say that we had won. I immediately checked the show only to find fifth or sixth cash prize winners being named. Disappointed, I went out for a drive, and after a few minutes they called again to say that we had indeed won the grand prize.”

Once pranked, Parambath was careful not to be fooled again. However, he grew curious after his friends started sending him photos, screenshots, and videos of show hosts announcing the winning number.

“I was startled. I thought they had edited those videos and photos. I chose not to believe them even though they kept persuading me. And meanwhile, I got a phone call from Big Ticket. I could hear the familiar sound of the hosts and the background music. But still, I thought that any of my friends would have attended the live draw and pranked me. So, I hung up the call.”

Finally, Parambath started believing that he had become an overnight millionaire after checking the raffle draw’s official website and social media platforms, and later received another call from Big Ticket organisers. “What can I say, it was purely unbelievable.”

Parambath underlined that the group of friends would continue to buy tickets.

“Now that we have won, we will keep trying. I would also suggest people buy Big Ticket in the first week of the month, which will increase their chances of winning the weekly electronic draw of Dh100,000. We should try to go for maximum opportunities and not just the grand prize,” he said and noted that his joint family was together in the UAE to celebrate Eid Al Adha, and now his father-in-law will be back to collect their cheque of Dh15 million during the August 3 draw.

One ticket costs Dh500 but if you buy two, a third ticket is for free. The general public can purchase tickets online through the Big Ticket’s official website, or by visiting the in-store counters at Abu Dhabi International Airport and Al Ain Airport.


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