UAE: Indian expat earning Dh4,000 wins Dh15 million with Big Ticket bought on his birthday

Despite having loans back home nearing Dh100,000 and facing financial constraints, Khan always tried to be part of the group buying Big Tickets

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Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Fri 4 Aug 2023, 9:03 AM

Last updated: Fri 4 Aug 2023, 11:03 PM

Sakil Khan Sarwar Khan is on cloud nine. The Indian expat from Dubai has won Abu Dhabi Big Ticket’s grand prize of Dh15 million with tickets bought last month on his birthday.

“My birthday was on July 25. I felt it was my lucky day, and I purchased tickets. Now, it’s party time,” said Khan, who got lucky with his winning ticket number 191115.

Khan is part of a group of friends and colleagues ranging between 10 and 15 in number, who have been trying their luck for years.

“I have been working in Dubai since 2011 and buying lucky draw tickets since 2015. We have a few groups in our department and company who pool money to buy tickets. The number of people keeps changing depending on the money in hand to contribute but they range between 10 and 15 individuals. Each person contributes between Dh50 and Dh100,” Khan told Khaleej Times.

Apart from Big Ticket, the group tries luck with Dubai Duty Free and Mahzooz draws too. Despite having loans back home nearing Dh100,000 and facing financial constraints, Khan always tried to be part of the group buying Big Tickets.

“Currently, I work as an engineering coordinator. When I started my career here, I used to earn Dh800, now I get up to Dh4,000 after receiving a few promotions at my job. I have hefty loans to repay back home. But I would always keep Dh50 aside to pool money in our group for the Big Ticket draw. Finally, I have won,” said the 39-year-old hailing from the Indian state of Rajasthan.

Khan is part of a joint family with his parents, wife, three children, a brother, and sisters.

“Earlier, my father was working in Saudi Arabia. Back then he used to earn Dh500. However, after suffering a back injury, I forced him to take a rest. Now, I am the sole breadwinner of the family. I am repaying loans taken for marriage of myself and siblings, and treatment of my father.”

‘My time has come’

Khan was watching the live streaming of the raffle draw, and couldn’t believe his luck.

“I didn’t remember my ticket number. Also, when the host announced the winner’s name, it wasn’t clear, but an inner voice told me I had won, my time had come. I strongly clinched onto my roommate. And finally, when my name flashed on the screen, it was an unbelievable moment. Now, I can repay my loan. The debt is mounting. And I plan to start my own business. It’s my wish and dream. Also, I can bring my family here to the UAE. I want them to see Dubai.”

Asked what kept him going despite his hardships, Khan drew an analogy with the tale of King Robert Bruce and the Spider.

“We have been trying our luck since 2015. We are like that spider. We never gave up. I will continue to buy tickets and continue with the same lifestyle too. Money should not change us. I am thankful to my seniors at work, who have supported me. I am grateful to my wife and family members who have been very supportive. I wish to help members of my family and others. I have faced a lot of hardships but never lost hope,” Khan added.

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