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UAE: Wheelchair-bound expat wins Dh500,000 after friend picks winning raffle ticket

Shafeer had suffered a haemorrhage and was on ventilator support for months last year



Binu Palakunnel Elias (photographed with his family here) bought the winning ticket for his wheelchair-bound friend. Photo: Supplied
Binu Palakunnel Elias (photographed with his family here) bought the winning ticket for his wheelchair-bound friend. Photo: Supplied
by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Wed 18 May 2022, 4:09 PM

Last updated: Wed 18 May 2022, 10:48 PM

An Indian expat from Kerala has helped his wheelchair-bound ailing friend win Dh500,000 in a Big Ticket electronic draw held in Abu Dhabi. Binu Palakunnel Elias, 37, bought the winning ticket (069002) for his friend Shafeer Panichiyil, 40.

Binu recalls how he met Shafeer four months back at a salon in the emirate and how their friendship developed.

“I have lived in Abu Dhabi, Mohamed Bin Zayed City, for two years. Once when I visited a salon, I met Shafeer there in a wheelchair. During our conversation, I learned about the tragedy that struck him. Shafeer had a wholesale vegetable business but was cheated by a company. The shock of losing his business had a severe impact on his health. High blood pressure led to haemorrhage, and he was on ventilator support for four months,” said Binu.

Since his hospitalisation last year, Shafeer faced financial issues, yet he would cough up money to buy a Big Ticket and try his luck. After building a bond with Binu, Shafeer asked him to purchase tickets for him.

“This was only the third time I purchased a ticket with his money. I am helping him buy the ticket, which was bought in my child’s name.”

Shafeer is grateful that he has won while facing a financial crisis but plans to restart his business in partnership with his friend.

“I am bound in a wheelchair but can manage my daily affairs independently. Now, I plan to relaunch the vegetable business with Binu. Let’s see how things go. I have finally got some hope in my life.”

The winning ticket will now enter the mega draw of Dh20 million to be held on June 3.

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