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Expat bags $1 million after 30 years in Dubai

Dubai resident bought lucky ticket just before he left for his annual vacation

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Dubai Duty Free has just declared a new winner of $1 million.

Dubai: An expatriate who has been living in Dubai for three decades has finally struck gold.

Kaplenghat Velu Venugopalan, 54, is the latest winner of $1 million (Dh3.6 million) at the Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire draw, it was announced on Tuesday.

He bought his third ticket to the draw just before he boarded his flight for his hometown in Kerala, India recently. The Indian expat is a father of two girls, aged 20 and 16, and works as a company driver in Dubai.

He was going about his daily routine on Tuesday morning when raffle draw organisers gave him a call.  Venugopalan was so overwhelmed with happiness that he could not help but cry. 

With his new-found wealth, he said it may be time to leave the UAE, which has been his second home for the last 30 years.

“I am happy to have been living and working in Dubai for the last 30 years. I think it’s time for me to retire and go back to my hometown in Kerala and start a small business,” he said.

The winner also intends to use part of his winnings to help those who are struggling financially and in need of medical assistance, and donate some to charity organisations.

Two other Indian nationals also got lucky at the same draw.  Ajit Kumar won a Jaguar F Type Coupe V8, while Suresh Kutharambath Sakumaran Nair won a BMW R 1200 GS motorbike.

Another expat, 32-year-old Australian national Michael Botros, won a Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe.

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