Thansilas Babu bought his ticket online last month. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: An Indian resident who has lived in Dubai for the last 26 years got the best possible morning news on Monday when he was announced as the latest Big Ticket Draw winner, scooping up Dh7 million to become an instant millionaire.

“I was shocked and couldn’t believe it at first when I got the phone call saying I had just won Dh7 million, but after the initial shock came the rush of joy and happiness,” said a very happy Thansulas Babu, who purchased his winning ticket no. 030202 online last month.

“This was my eighth time taking part in the Big Ticket draw, I usually buy raffle tickets for the Dubai Duty Free, I was always hopeful that I would win one day and finally my dream has come true, so I’m very happy that I always kept trying, this is an amazing gift for me,” he added.

Babu, who has a wife and three grown up children, said he plans to keep his day job as an aircraft engineer for Emirates Airlines.

“I have no intention of quitting my job; that’s something that I want to continue doing. I don’t have everything planned out at the moment on how I am going to use the money. I still have to go and collect it first, but I do want to use some of it for my family.”

For future hopefuls looking to become the next Big Ticket millionaire, Babu said it was all about not giving up.

“They have to keep trying and eventually it will be their day, I am an example of that, I have been taking part in raffle draws including the Big Ticket for a long time until I finally won, if I lost hope then I wouldn’t have won Dh7 million today.”

Held at Abu Dhabi Airport every month, the Big Ticket Draw is the UAE’s largest and longest biggest monthly raffle draw in the UAE, with tickets costing Dh500 to purchase. Despite the high ticket prices, the raffle draw remains very popular among residents because of its high winning returns. Last month’s winner, also from India, won Dh10 million. Next month’s draw promises to be even bigger with a Dh12 million jackpot.