Dubai: An Indian expatriate based in Oman is the latest winner of $1 million (Dh3.67 million) in Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire draw, which was held today at Concourse D of Dubai International Airport.
John Varghese, a 62-year-old Indian national based in Muscat, Oman, won $1 million in Millennium Millionaire Series No 392 with ticket number 0982, which he had purchased online on May 29. A regular participant in Dubai Duty Free’s promotion for six years now, Varghese is a father of two and works as a general manager for a consumer goods company in Muscat.
A frequent traveller who spent 35 years in the Middle East travelling between Dubai and Muscat, Varghese used to purchase tickets at the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise counters in Dubai Airport prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When asked about his plan with the prize money, Varghese said: “A big chunk will be saved for my retirement, while a portion will go towards some charities, specifically those aimed at benefitting women and children.”
“This is my first time to win in any draw, so I am really thankful for this great luck. Dubai Duty Free [is] going to be part of my life now,” he added.
Varghese who hails from Kerala in India is the 192nd Indian national to have won $1 million since the start of the Millennium Millionaire promotion in 1999. Indian nationals make up the highest number of Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire ticket buyers.
Today’s Millennium Millionaire draw was conducted by Dubai Duty Free’s chief operating officer, Ramesh Cidambi; Salah Tahlak, joint chief operating officer; Mona Al Ali, senior vice-president. Human Resources; Michael Schmidt, senior vice-president, Retail; and Zayed Al Shebli, senior vice-president, Loss Prevention and Corporate Security.
Saudi man wins BMW car
Following the Millennium Millionaire draw, the Finest Surprise draw was conducted for four luxury vehicles.
Nawaf Saad, a 62-year-old Saudi Arabian national based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, won a BMW X6 M50i (Mineral White Metallic) car, with ticket number 0644 in Finest Surprise Series 1807, which he had purchased online on May 26.
Born and raised in Jeddah, Saad is a regular participant in Dubai Duty Free’s promotion since 2020 and had bought five tickets for Series 1807. The father of two was delighted to learn about his win and said: “Thank you very much Dubai Duty Free. You have made my day!”
More cars, bike for Indians
Thimmaiah Nanjappa, a 40-year-old Indian national based in Dubai won a Mercedes Benz CLS 53 4M AMG (Obsidian Black Metallic) car, with ticket number 0108 in Finest Surprise Series 1808, which he had purchased on June 3 on his way to Bengaluru for a vacation. A regular participant in Dubai Duty Free’s promotion for five years now, Nanjappa is a resident of Dubai for 15 years and works as an account manager for an animal relocation company in Dubai.
“I’m very grateful to Dubai Duty Free and I will continue participating. I will also encourage my colleague to do so,” he said.
Meanwhile, Shaik Abid Hussain Ansari, a 36-year-old Indian national based in Sharjah won a BMW R 1250 R (HP Edition White/Blue/Red) motorbike, with ticket number 0091 in Finest Surprise Series 501, which he had purchased online on May 30.
A resident of Sharjah since 2013, Ansari is a father of four and works as an accountant for a manufacturing company in Sharjah. A first-time ticket buyer, Ansari was surprised to learn that he had won with his first-ever DDF draw ticket. “Thank you Dubai Duty Free! I couldn’t believe that I won with my first-ever ticket to your promotion,” he said.
Jameil Fonseca, a 40-year-old Indian national based in Dubai, won a BMW R nineT (Night Black Matt/ Aluminium) motorbike, with ticket number 0238 in Finest Surprise Series 502, which he had purchased online on June 2.
A regular participant in the DDF promotion for ten years now, Fonseca had bought two tickets for Series 502 and was delighted to learn about his win. A resident of Dubai for 14 years, Fonseca is a father of two and works as a distribution manager for a pharmaceutical company in Dubai.
“Thank you Dubai Duty Free for this amazing win and I encourage everyone to participate. Now I can sell my old motorbike and can’t wait to try this new one,” he said.