ABU DHABI: A group of 20 Indians who each pooled in Dh50 a month for around three years so they could participate in Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Big Ticket raffle finally hit the Dh1 million jackpot on October 5.
Pooling in Dh50 a month effectively meant that each member set aside just Dh1.67 a day to buy a Big Ticket. The group spent Dh1,000 on two tickets every month and got the third free under the ‘Buy two, get one free’ scheme.
Realising that spending Dh500 alone to buy a Big Ticket every month was unviable, the group of friends from the South Indian state of Kerala decided to pool their meagre resources and share any winnings.
From left: K.B. Suresh, R. Suresh, P.K. Baburaj and K.K. Sunilkumar. The group members live in different emirates.
Most contributed Dh50, but some could afford to pool in Dh100 a month. This arrangement means that the majority gets Dh50,000 each as their share of the Dh1 million jackpot while some get Dh100,000.
It’s still big money for these expatriates who work and reside in different emirates.
Speaking to Gulf News, Praveen Chandran, 27, said, “Even this Dh50,000 means a lot to me as I can’t afford shelling out Dh500 or Dh1,000 on buying the draw ticket, so buying in a group is helpful.”
Chandran, who works in a jewellery company in Ajman and is unmarried, added: “I contributed Dh50, so my share of the winning prize is only Dh50,000, but it means a lot.”
Chandran said that some members of the group had been participating in the Big Ticket raffle for many years.
I used to buy Dubai Duty Free and Lexus car tickets too, but never won any prize. The win has come at the right time as I have to spend a lot of money for my two daughters’ weddings which are going to be fixed soon.”
- Aravindakshan, 63-year-old winner
Suresh R, also a jewellery company worker in Ajman, said: “Our company designs and prepares jewellery in Ajman and we deliver it to different outlets and companies in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. So whenever we visit Abu Dhabi, we buy the Big Ticket at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.”
Suresh, who contributed Dh50, was delighted to win Dh50,000.
Jacob P. Verghese, 48, who won Dh50,000 for contributing Dh50, plans to use part of his winnings to help out a friend who could not participate in the raffle as his family back home is going through a difficult time.
From left: Jishar, Praveen Chandran, Jacob P. Verghese
“Contributing Dh50 a month is like collecting Dh1.67 a day. It’s very convenient and it feels nothing, but the prize is grand,” Verghese, who has resided in Ajman for 20 years, said.
The group also includes 63-year-old Aravindakshan, who was delighted to win for the first time in his long stay in the UAE. Aravindakshan, who works as a jewellery maker in Ajman, said: “I always bought raffle tickets in groups. I used to buy Dubai Duty Free and Lexus car tickets too, but never won any prize.”
He won Dh100,000 as he contributed Dh100.
“The win has come at the right time as I have to spend lots of money for my two daughters’ weddings which are going to be fixed soon,” he said.