Renjith Somarajan, an Indian expat driver based in Dubai, has bagged a mega Dh20 million ($5.45 million) prize in the Abu Dhabi Big Ticket draw, along with nine others.
Somarajan, who has been buying these tickets for three years now, is understandably thrilled. What made the occasion more special for him was he won it when he was right in front of a mosque, said a Khaleej Times report.
“I have been here since 2008. I worked as a driver with Dubai Taxi and different companies. Last year, I worked as driver-cum-salesman with a company but with my salary deduction, it was a difficult life,” Somarajan told Khaleej Times. “Now, I have found a job as a driver-cum-PRO at a new company. I will join soon, maybe next month. My salary will be Dh3,500. My wife works at a hotel. I used to buy tickets with the aim of improving my quality of life. I always wanted to do my own business. I will consult my family and make a decision.”
The big moment
“I, wife Sanjivani Perera, and son Niranjan were returning from Hatta. We reached Ras Al Khor when I thought of buying some vegetables. While I was at the traffic signal, the second and third prizes were getting announced. I never thought I would hit the jackpot and had always pinned my hope on the second and third,” the 37-year-old told Khaleej Times.
Somarajan will sharing the prize money with nine others whom he gathered only recently, he said.
“We are a total of 10 people. Others are from different countries, like India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. They work in the valet parking of a hotel. We took the ticket under the ‘buy two and get one free’ offer. Each person pooled in Dh100. The ticket was taken in my name on June 29. What I can tell others is to continue trying your luck. I was always sure that my lucky day would come. I was always sure the almighty would bless me one day,” he told the publication.
The jackpot winner has a tough job on hand — convincing his sceptical mother that he actually won a prize. In the past, he had pulled her leg so often that she is extra cautious now.