NAT 100716 American pilot Keith Andrew Hansen-1594894109889
Keith Andrew Hansen Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: American pilot Keith Andrew Hansen, 55, who won the Dubai Duty Free (DDF) Millennium Millionaire Draw on July 1, finally picked up his million dollar cheque on Thursday during a stopover in Dubai, in between flights.

He was invited to Concourse B of Dubai International Airport, where DDF Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, Colm McLoughlin along with Ramesh Cidambi, COO and Michael Schmidt, SVP - Retail Support presented the ceremonial cheque to him.

On July 1, Hansen became the ninth American national to win a million dollars since the start of the Millennium Millionaire promotion in 1999. His winning ticket number 2545 was picked in the series 333.

Owing to the profile of his work as a pilot, Hansen was only able to pick up his cheque on Thursday, two weeks after the mega win.

Speaking to Gulf News, Hansen said he could not believe the news when he first heard he had won a million dollars.

“I had just landed in Sydney on July 1 and when I opened my phone, a string of messages popped up. I was at first perplexed. I made a pretty good landing. Were the messages about that? No they were not actually. I had won a million dollars! I was elated to say the least,” the father of two said.

Hansen, who hails from Kirkland, Washington, said it was the first time he purchased a ticket for the DDF Millennium Millionaire draw. “I have travelled to Dubai at least 70 times in my career span of 37 years of flying. This is the first time I bought a ticket for the millionaire draw.”

The American pilot said he purchased the ticket on June 15 along with his first officer and co-pilot who also picked up one. “I flew in from Louisville Kentucky to Dubai on June 12. On June 16 I left for Cologne. On June 15, I bought my winning ticket.”

Hansen said he was not planning on buying the millionaire draw ticket. “My first officer told me to buy one as he had bought one for himself. I put him off at first saying I don’t want to buy the ticket as I am never lucky with jackpot draws. Co-incidentally, my flight was postponed and the next morning as I was walking through the terminal, I just thought of buying the ticket. It was in the spur of the moment.”

What is he planning with his money?

“My goal is to invest and save. I will put some money into charity foundations that I am already helping. My daughter is due to get married, she will probably have a little nicer wedding now,” he said.