Dubai: When Rogy George received a call from Dubai on Sunday night and was told he had won Dh12 million, he didn’t leap for joy or shout that finally his dreams have come true.
Instead, he sat down in silence and took a moment to double check the authenticity of the news, and when he saw his name on Big Ticket’s website, that’s when it dawned on him that he’s now a multimillionaire.
“I called my mother right away to share the big news. But at first I thought it was fake,” the 45-year-old expatriate who works for a company in the construction sector told Gulf News on the phone.
The Indian national based in Kuwait was declared the latest winner of one of the longest-running millionaire draws in the UAE during an evening raffle draw in Abu Dhabi. He had purchased the lucky ticket bearing the numbers 014394, which he randomly picked up, last February 23.
It was the fifth or sixth ticket that he purchased since joining the raffle draw last year, and unlike the other winners, he will not be splitting the prize with his friends or colleagues.
“I bought it myself. I didn’t share the ticket prize with anyone else. So I will be bringing the whole prize home,” George said, who will be travelling to Abu Dhabi later to collect his winnings.
George said he had believed from the start that he would one day become a Big Ticket winner. “I decided to start buying tickets after I kept reading in the news that the winner is always from India. So, I thought that one day I should win because I’m from India,” he said in jest.
George admitted though that he’s still in shock, so he hasn’t decided yet what to do with his newfound fortune. “Let the money come first and then I will start planning. For now, I haven’t thought about it yet,” he said.
He, however, said the jackpot might hasten his retirement. After all, he’s been in Kuwait for 12 years, and since he doesn’t have any loans or huge financial obligations to worry about, he might as well use the money to start a new life back in his home country.
“I will continue to work, but not for a long time. I plan on retiring after one or two years,” the father of a 16-year-old girl said.
For those who have been buying raffle tickets, George has one thing to say: “Keep on believing. One day, it will be your turn to win.”