A Turkish expat's first purchase of a Big Ticket has turned him into a millionaire overnight.
Sam Heidaritorshizi, who moved to Dubai four years ago, was announced as Grand Prize winner, landing Dh15 million ($4.08 million) in the Series 249 raffle draw held in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Mr Heidaritorshizi, a managing director of a pharmaceutical company in Dubai, bought his winning ticket online during the buy-two-get-one-free promotion early last month.
He said he never expected to hit the jackpot despite regularly checking the Big Ticket website over the past week hoping to see his name.
When representatives tried to contact Mr Heidaritorshizi about his big win, his phone was engaged as he was flooded with congratulatory calls from his friends and family.
Second-prize winner, Emirati citizen Salim Albastaki, walked away with Dh1 million.
Mr Albastaki has been buying a raffle ticket for the past 15 years and is grateful for his first win. He said he would continue to purchase Big Tickets hoping to take home the grand prize someday.
The Big Ticket was established in 1992 with an initial first prize of Dh1 million, and is one of the most popular monthly raffles in the UAE. The next winner will be announced in April.