Indian expat who quit Dubai wins Dh1 million in Big Ticket draw

Varsha Gunda and her children hope to return to the Emirates to be with her husband here

Varsha Gunda with her husband Narendra and family in Dubai. Handout photo
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An Indian expat who left Dubai after struggling with the cost of living has clinched Dh1 million in the UAE's Big Ticket draw - and now wants to move back.

Varsha Gunda, 34, bought a ticket online from India after getting a lucky feeling.

She got two tickets online for the second weekly draw but got two free on offer. Her seven-year-old son picked the winning ticket.

Her husband Narendra Gunda, 38, an IT engineer, said: “I have been buying the Big Ticket for the last three years.

“On November 12, my wife said she had an intuition that if she bought it from her account, she might win. Her hunch was right.”

The family lived together in Dubai until 2018, but Mr Gunda’s wife, daughter Likhitha, 10, and son Shamik, 7, moved back to India because of the cost of living, while he stayed on.

“I hope my family can join me in the UAE now,” Mr Gunda said.

He said his wife missed the life-changing call from the Big Ticket office on Thursday because her Indian phone number was not working.

Varsha Gunda with her husband Narendra, daughter Likhitha, 10, and son Shamik, 7. Ms Gunda won the 1 million Abu Dhabi Big Ticket this week. Photo: Varsha Gunda

“Later on Friday, when I saw my wife’s name on the Big Ticket’s Instagram page, I was totally surprised. It was late at night in India but I could not wait to break the good news to my wife,” he said.

She first thought it was a prank, but when the reality sunk in, she was on top of the world, he said.

Ms Gunda and other customers who bought the tickets during the promotion period still stand a chance to take home the Dh30m prize on December 3.

Although the couple have not decided how to spend the prize, Mr Gunda said they want to invest in their children’s education.

“That is the priority. We will soon have a family reunion in Dubai to celebrate the win,” he said.

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Updated: November 23, 2022, 12:48 PM