Abu Dhabi: Ten people including eight Indians became millionaires, in a way, in Thursday’s Big Ticket Draw held at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s arrival hall. Some of them will share their prize money with others with whom they bought the tickets.

A Canadian and a Filipina also bagged Dh1 million each.

Big Ticket is the largest and longest-running monthly raffle draw for cash prizes and dream luxury cars in Abu Dhabi. Big Ticket started giving people a chance to realise their big dreams from 1992. The ticket price of the Big Ticket Millionaire is Dh500, and if you buy two tickets, you will get a third ticket for free.

Speaking to Gulf News after the draw, Leilani Quijano Del Rosario, 47, from the Philippines said, “It was really an unexpected win. I am a regular buyer of the Big Ticket but this is the first time I have won the cash prize.”
“It’s a great news for me. I have a loan of two million pesos back home. First, I would try to pay off that,” she said.

Rosario will not get all of the prize money for herself as the ticket was bought with 15 other people.

“I am sharing the ticket with 15 friends and but I am the major contributor for the ticket so my share will be Dh200,000 from Dh1 million and the rest will be distributed among the other 15 shareholders,” Rosario said who has lived in Abu Dhabi for 14 years.

“This is my second win here as I had won a Volkswagen Touareg in a lucky draw of Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre in Abu Dhabi two years back, she said.

Another winner, 26-year-old Kishore Kumar Reddy Beesireddygari from India, said, “I was pleasantly shocked when I heard the great news.

“Now my dream of having a home in India will be materialised. I will also pay off my loan of Dh80,000 from a Dubai bank,” Reddy said who is an optometrist in Dubai.

“My friend introduced to me to Big Ticket a year back so I also started trying my luck and it shined on me today,” he said.

Reddy bought the ticket in sharing with three other people who will share the prize money. “So I will get Dh250,000 from this.

“This money is going to make a big difference in the lives of four of us friends. It means a great support to us,” he said.

Chandresh Motivaras, 43, from India also bought the ticket with four others for the first time. “Currently, I don’t have any plans for investments but once I receive the money, I would plan.

“I am excited,” he said, who is a chief accountant with a jewellery group in Dubai. Motivaras has lived in Dubai from 2005. All winners thanked Big Ticket for changing their lives and uplifting their morale.

Another Indian winner, Abhaya Kumar Vennarathil Krishnan, 49, said, “I didn’t believe when I got a call and thought that somebody is joking with me.”

“But when I got a second call from the organisers, I was pleasantly shocked,” said Krishnan who is a purchasing manager at Spinneys’ in Abu Dhabi.

He will share the money with a friend as they bought the ticket together. He plans to spend some portion of the money in charity back home in Kerala for poor people’s education.

“I had bought the ticket but I didn’t know that today is the draw date,” said Krishnan who has been living in Abu Dhabi since 1994. He has been buying the ticket regularly for the last ten years and this is the first time he has won the prize.

Indian Sundaran Nalamkandathil, 47, bought the ticket with a group of 20 people. “My niece’s wedding is in December so I am very delighted to win this prize at this time,” said Nalamkandathil, a jewellery designer living in Ajman for the last 24 years.

The grand prize winners were picked by the previous draw’s grand prize winners. The draw was held at the arrivals hall of Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The winners

Leilani Quijano Del Rosario (Filipina), Sayef Ali [Canada], and Indians Abhaya Kumar Vennarathil Krishnan, Muthukumar Sanjeevi, Sundaran Nalamkandathil, Sameet Tinore, Chandresh Motivaras, Kishore Kumar Reddy Beesireddygari, Afsar Pasha Ali and Sharafudheen Tharakkaveetil Sainudheen.