Dubai: An Indian expat living in Abu Dhabi has turned a dollar millionaire. Mani Balaraj, 36, won $1 million in the recent Millennium Millionaire Series 428 after his winning ticket number 0405 was picked up in the draw. He purchased the ticket online on June 23.
A resident of Abu Dhabi for 12 years, Balaraj who shared the ticket cost with his four other friends, have been participating in the Dubai Duty Free promotion for two years no, alternating the name on the ticket for each series whenever they purchase.
Balaraj who is soon going to be a father for the second time - works as an IT personnel in a company in Abu Dhabi.
“Thank you Dubai Duty Free! I have never won anything this big in my life. I am just so happy and grateful,” he said.
Balaraj who hails from Kerala is the 211th Indian national to win $1 million since the start of the Millennium Millionaire promotion in 1999. Indian nationals are the biggest buyers of tickets.
Another German national also turned a millionaire at the recent Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire and Finest Surprise promotion held at Terminal 2 of Dubai International Airport.
Jürgen Alois Maschauer won a $1 million in the Millennium Millionaire Series 427 with ticket number 1679, which he purchased online on June 15.
Maschauer is currently uncontactable, but will no doubt be delighted to learn of his newfound wealth, which makes him the 10th German national to have won US$1 million since the start of the Millennium Millionaire promotion in 1999.
Following the Millennium Millionaire presentation, the Finest Surprise draw was conducted for a car and two motorbikes.
Indian expat Rachandran R, living in Dubai won an Indian Chief Dark Horse (Copper Smoke) motorbike, with ticket number 0120 in Finest Surprise Series 543, which he purchased on June 23 while he was on his way to Colombo, Sri Lanka from Dubai.
He was not available for immediate comment.
Saudi national Nawaf Saad, 63-year-old based in Jeddah, won a Mercedes Benz S500 (Mojave Silver) car, with ticket number 0691 in Finest Surprise Series 1843, which he purchased online on June 21.
Born and raised in Jeddah, Saad is a regular participant in Dubai Duty Free’s promotion since 2020 and is no stranger to winning with Dubai Duty Free as he also previously won a Mercedes Benz CLS 53 4M AMG (Obsidian Black Metallic) car, with ticket number 0108 in Finest Surprise Series 1808 in June 2022.
Saad is not available for immediate comment, but will no doubt be surprised when he learns of his win.
Australian national Erwin Speiser, an 55-year-old based in Neidling in Lower Austria, won a BMW R 1250 RS (Black Storm Metallic) motorbike, with ticket number 1049 in Finest Surprise Series 542, which he purchased online on June 7.
A regular participant in Dubai Duty Free’s promotion since 2012, Mr. Speiser was surprised to win another motorbike with Dubai Duty Free, having previously won twice. He first won a Ducati Hypermotard SP motorbike with ticket number 0356 in Finest Surprise Series 303 in April 2017, and then a BMW F 900 XR motorbike, with ticket number 0312 in Finest Surprise Series 442 in February 2021.
“I cannot believe this. Thank you so much Dubai Duty Free for this third win!” he said.