Abu Dhabi: A Dubai-based Indian expatriate, who won the Big Ticket raffle in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, has no idea yet on how he will spend the Dh10 million prize.
The 34-year-old Prashanth Pandarathil, who hails from Kerala, told Gulf News, “Everything will be as usual and I will continue to work. Currently, I don’t have any plans for the prize money.”
Pandarathil, who has been in Dubai since 2016 and works as an associate director with a consulting firm, said his winning ticket number was 041945 in the 200 series and he had bought it online on January 4. He said he had bought two tickets and had got an additional one under a buy-two-get-one-free offer.
Initially, I didn’t believe the news and told my wife to check the details online. It’s only when she confirmed it to me that the reality sank in.
“This must have been the fifth or sixth time I bought the Big Ticket along with a friend, but it is the first time I have won something in the UAE.”
Pandarathil said he was overcome by doubt when organisers called him over the phone to congratulate him. “Are you sure? Can you please confirm it?” he recalled asking them.
“Initially, I din’t believe the news and told my wife to check the details online. It’s only when she confirmed it to me that the reality sank in,” Pandarathil said, recalling the conversation with his wife Dhanya, who works as a global logistics operations manager.
Nine consolation prizes ranging between Dh10,000 and Dh100,000 were given away to five Indians, two Pakistanis, one Filipino and a South Korean.
Since the inception of Big Ticket in 1992, more than 220 people have been turned into millionaires by Abu Dhabi International Airport.
In January, another Indian, Sarath Purushothaman, who is based in Dubai, won a whopping Dh15 million, the highest prize ever under the Big Ticket draw. The prize money for next month’s draw will be Dh12 million.
Big Ticket is the largest and longest running monthly raffle draw for cash prizes and dream luxury cars in Abu Dhabi. Tickets can be purchased online or at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Ain Duty Free and City Terminal Abu Dhabi. Tickets cost Dh500, but you stand to get one free if you buy two.