Dh12m winner thought it was a prank call

Abu Dhabi: An Indian expatriate became a multimillionaire after winning Dh12 million, the biggest ever jackpot of Big Ticket raffle in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Hari Krishnan’s third Big Ticket in his over 15 years of stay in the country proved to be the biggest New Year gift for his family.


He had bought the winning ticket online last month.

The 42-year-old Dubai resident hit the jackpot at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Big Ticket draw on his ticket number 086828.

Speaking to Gulf News after winning the grand prize, Krishnan said: “I didn’t believe this when I got a call from organisers this morning. I thought it’s a prank call and somebody is joking with me. But later, when other people called me then I realised that it’s true. I feel fortunate to win this big prize and it’s truly a gift from God.”

“I am too excited to express anything and don’t have any plans right now.”

“I have some loans in the UAE as well as back home in India. I will settle the loans first and think what to do next,” Krishnan said who works in a construction company in Dubai as business development manager.

This is the first time he has won a big prize. Previously, he bought tickets along with friends.

His wife, Nisha Krishnan, who works in Ajman as a logistics manager, also didn’t believe when Krishnan informed her about the big prize.

“When I called to tell my wife in the morning, she thought I am joking and refused to believe me,” Krishnan said who is from the South Indian state of Kerala and has lived in Dubai since 2002.

Krishnan doesn’t have any immediate plans for spending the money but his wife wants to travel around the world. “Of course, we will go on long overseas vacation soon. But as of now, the normal life and work continue, Nisha told Gulf News on Sunday.

“My husband was confident that someday would be our lucky day but I never believed in draws. In fact, it was his firm faith, which paid us all and we won this time,” Nisha said.

“In fact, I don’t invest in lotteries and all that so I didn’t believe when he called me,” Nisha said whose seven years old son, Karan, studies in Dubai.

She said first she would visit her home country India and my husband will be travelling to US on a business trip. After he returns, sure, we will travel.

“This is great moment for us and we are thankful to God, Nisha said who has lived in Dubai for 11 years.

Big Ticket is the largest and longest-running monthly raffle draw for cash prizes and dream luxury cars in Abu Dhabi.

January’s Big Ticket draw was the biggest ever with a grand prize money of Dh12 million.

These tickets can be purchased online or at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Ain Duty Free and City Terminal Abu Dhabi.

Tickets remain at their usual price of just Dh500, and if you buy two tickets one ticket is given for free under buy-one-get-one free scheme.

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