Restaurant worker and friends win Dh25 million in Abu Dhabi's Big Ticket draw

Winner bought the Dh500 ticket with 20 colleagues and each will take home nearly Dh1.2 million

Sajesh Njattuketty, second from right, and Praveen Antony, second from left, will share Dh25 million prize money with 18 other colleagues.
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An Indian man and his 20 colleagues scooped Dh25 million ($6.8m) in Abu Dhabi's Big Ticket draw but say they are clueless about what to do with the money because the reality is still sinking in.

Each of them will take home nearly Dh1.2m.

Sajesh Njattuketty, 47, works as a purchasing manager at Ikkayees restaurant in Dubai’s Karama area.

He has been living in the emirate for 24 years and won the grand prize on Thursday.

“Money can take you many places but right now I'm not sure what I will do with it," he told The National.

Mr Njattuketty said he and his fellow workers ― all from Kerala in India ― have been buying three tickets every month for the past two years.

“This month we bought four tickets, but we didn’t expect to win,” said the father of three.

He and his colleagues work at the restaurant’s two branches.

His fellow worker Praveen Antony, 35, said it still feels like a dream.

“We are in shock, we still haven't calculated how much each one of us gets,” he said.

He said Mr Njattuketty told him about their win and he immediately called his wife in India, but she did not believe him.

“She thought it was a joke and only believed me after I sent her the message from Abu Dhabi's Big Ticket,” the father of two said.

He said all of them will sit together and discuss what they can do with their money.

“We can't force one another on what to do with the cash but as friends, we want to discuss so we can make the right decision," he said.

The next draw date is December 3, with Dh30 million, a Range Rover Series 7 and Maserati Series 6, up for grabs.

Each ticket costs Dh500.

Abu Dhabi Big Ticket: winners tell how jackpot changed their lives

Updated: November 04, 2022, 3:24 PM