Dubai Duty Free representatives showing the two tickets that won $1 million each Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: An Ethiopian and an Indian expat in the UAE each won $1 million in the Dubai Duty Free draw held today at the airport.

Teklit Tesfaye, a 48-year-old Ethiopian national based in Dubai, is a father of one and runs a commodities trading company in the Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone. Currently visiting his family in Canada, Tesfaye was surprised to be awakened by a call informing him that he’s now a dollar-millionaire.

“This is such good news to hear in the morning... Now I can prove to my friends that this is real and hopefully encourage them to participate [in the draw] too,” he said

Tesfaye is only the second Ethiopian national to have won $1 million since the start of the Millennium Millionaire promotion in 1999.

Joining Tesfaye as a fellow dollar-millionaire is Shamsudheen Cheruvattantavida, a 36-year-old Indian national who lives in Jebel Ali area of Dubai. Cheruvattantavida shared the ticket cost with nine friends and a brother who have been participating continually in the Dubai Duty Free promotion for a year now, alternating the name on the ticket for each series whenever they purchase.

The father of three, who works as a PRO for restaurants and supermarkets, was shocked when he learned that they had finally won.

“This win will definitely help us a lot,” he said.

Cheruvattantavida, who hails from Kerala is the 216th Indian national to have won $1 million in the Millennium Millionaire promotion - Indian nationals are the biggest buyers of tickets.

Finest Surprise

Following the Millennium Millionaire presentation, the Finest Surprise draw was conducted for a car and two motorbikes.

Samaira Grover, an Indian national based in Sharjahi, won a BMW X5 M50i car, with a ticket she purchased on her way to Mumbai from Dubai. Grover was not immediately reachable for comment.

Nickson Ireri, a 37-year-old Kenyan national based in Dubai, won an Indian Chief Bobber motorbike, which he purchased online. Ireri has been working as a supervisor for a travel retail company for 13 years now.

“I’m very grateful for this opportunity, and I will continue to participate in the hope of making a second chance lucky, either for a car or for $1 million,” Ireri said.

Lastly, Thankachan Yohannan, a 60-year-old Indian national based in Dubai, won a Harley-Davidson Sportster S motorbike, with a ticket number 0120 in he purchased online. A first-time ticket buyer, Yohannan is a father of two and works as a watchman for a real estate company.