Three Indian expats from Ras Al Khaimah won Dh20 million in the Abu Dhabi Big Ticket raffle in the mega monthly jackpot draw.
Streamed live on official Facebook and YouTube pages, as The Big Ticket draw was held on Friday at 2pm instead of 7:30pm and remained closed to public.
Jijesh Korothan, who shares the prize money with friends Shahjahan Kuttikattil and Shanoj Balakrishnan, is much joyful.
“I am here for past 16 years. I have my wife and daughter here. For the last six months, we three friends are running a limousine rental service. But it didn’t work well for us. We faced financial crisis. Past few months have been very difficult as the tourism sector is affected. For many days, we are sitting indoors as there is no demand for our services. With office rent, EMIs on limos, latest Covid-19 developments and uncertain future, we planned to wind up our operations. On Thursday, we met a client to sell our limos but didn’t receive good price. Today (Friday) by 3pm, we had to meet another party and minutes before that, we have hit this jackpot.”
Korothan, who has been living in Ras Al Khaimah for 15 years and had planned to return to his home state of Kerala. He, however, watched the draw live when host Richard announced the winning ticket number 041779 and his name.
“God has listened to our prayers. What more can I say? This is beyond words. Actually, I couldn’t recollect my ticket number but when my name was announced, it was a magical moment. We had made plans to return to Kerala as things were falling apart here. Now, we can develop our business.”
“I was watching the draw live with my wife and daughter. I will be sharing this with two of my friends,” Korothan told Richard, who called the jackpot winner.
Korothan had bought his winning ticket on March 19 but on celebrating his victory he said: “This is no time for party but to help others. We have to fight this pandemic first”.
Korothan told Gulf News a large part of the money will go towards his seven-year-old daughter’s education and towards a small business in luxury car rentals that he and his friends have started.
“It has been a tough month. I have had no work at all. I was in a desperate situation and about to send my family back. This win is nothing but a miracle,” said Korothan.