NAT DDF Rahul Sangole with  Suhail ,Ishrat-1597226888094
Rahul Sangole (left) with his friends Suhail and Israt, who pooled the money to buy the DDF ticket. Wednesday's DDF raffle was won by Sangole and 10 of his friends. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A group of 11 friends from Dubai have won $1 million (Dh3.67 million) in the latest Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire and Finest Surprise draw held on Wednesday at the Concourse B of Dubai International Airport.

Rahul Sangole, 41, based in Dubai, bought his lucky ticket number 0226 in Millennium Millionaire Series 336 online in July and split the ticket cost with his nine Indian and one Nepali friends.

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“It is a dream come true,” he told Gulf News in a telephone call. “For more than two years, my friends and I have been putting money on DDF and other draws. Every month, we set aside money for just this. We have a WhatsApp group chat and decide who will buy the ticket. This time it was my turn,” said an elated Sangole.

Sangole, who works in a private firm as a coordinator earning Dh, 5000 a month, said his share of the prize win works out to over Dh370,000. “This is a very big amount for me. My family has never lived with me in the UAE because it is so expensive to have them. Now that I have won, I may consider getting them to the UAE. I feel blessed and lucky,” he said.

Alternating names

Sangole, along with his friends, has been alternating the name on the ticket for each series whenever they purchase online.

A father of one and a resident of Dubai for five years, Sangole, who works in Jebel Ali Freezone (JAFZA) couldn’t contain his excitement upon hearing the news and commented; “To finally receive the call from Dubai Duty Free that we indeed won $1 million is unbelievable. Thank you so much Dubai Duty Free for making people’s dream come true. Definitely this money will help us during this difficult time, to pay off loans and support each other’s families back home,” added Sangole.

Sangole who hails from Nagpur, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, is the 166th Indian to win $1 million since the start of the Millennium Millionaire promotion in 1999. Indians make up the highest number of Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire ticket buyers.

Other winners

Following the Millennium Millionaire draw, two other winners were announced in the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Promotion.

Andrew Watt, a British expat won a Bentley Bentayga V8 (Beluga) with his ticket number 1759 in Series 1756. Another Sri Lankan expat Husny Arar, won an Aprilia Tuono RR motorbike (Rosso Sachsenring) with his ticket number 0918 in Series 417. The winners who both purchased their winning tickets online could not be contacted by DDF. So they don’t know yet that they have won!

The draw on Wednesday was conducted following social distancing by Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice-Chairman & CEO, Colm McLoughlin, Chief Operating Officer, Ramesh Cidambi and Salah Tahlak, Executive Vice President — Corporate Services.