Dh15m Abu Dhabi Big Ticket win 'a retirement dream'

Indian oil and gas worker has barely touched huge winnings - but has treated himself to an electric Volvo

UAE's Big Ticket winners splash the cash

UAE's Big Ticket winners splash the cash
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If you suddenly found yourself millions of dirhams richer what would you spend the jackpot on?

For many of us, a car would be the first option and that's exactly what one Abu Dubai resident splashed out on when he scored Dh15m with two friends, after winning the Big Ticket draw.

While many of us would opt for a fancy car, Pradeep Kumar Krishnan, 56, from India, opted for something different.

“I bought an electric Volvo after researching which one to buy with my son,” he said.

“It costs in the region of Dh250,000. It's the best safety car.”

Sharing in the jackpot was especially sweet for Mr Krishnan because he was in the process of leaving his job in the oil industry and the windfall helped him decide to retire.

“I was at the airport heading back to Abu Dhabi when I got the call to tell me I had won. Initially, I thought it was a scam,” he said.

“I knew when I got more calls about it that it was genuine.”

He also has further plans on how to invest his money.

“I am also planning on buying a farm back home in Kerala,” he said. “It's going to have animals, plants, bananas … all that kind of stuff.”

“If I was younger it would have been easier but at my age who was going to take me?” he said.

“I don't have to worry about that now.”

It was not the first time that Mr Krishnan cashed in at the Big Ticket draw, he won Dh100,000 in 1996.

Sharing the prize

Mr Krishnan was speaking to The National at an event in Dubai on Thursday morning that included other winners of the Big Ticket draw.

Rashmi Ahuja, from New Zealand, shared Dh100,000 with two of her friends in March. She opted to give away her share of the winnings.

“I was travelling to Melbourne to visit my daughter when I found out that I had won,” said Ms Ahuja, 66, who works as a migration adviser for her home country.

“I decided to give all of my share of the winnings to my daughter. It was a motherly instinct to give it to the apple of my eye.”

Big Ticket Abu Dhabi has been running for more than 30 years in the UAE.

This year alone, more than 300 prize winners have walked away with winnings that total more than Dh180 million.

The main draw takes place once a month but there are daily and weekly giveaways.

A ticket to enter costs Dh500.

Also at Thursday morning's event was Indian Vishal who won Dh100,000 in one of the weekly draws.

The IT consultant plans to use the winnings to settle his debts, save some for future investments, and distribute the rest among family and friends.

Setting aside funds for future draws

He has also set some aside for another purpose.

“I've put Dh12,000 aside to buy tickets for the Big Draw for the next year,” he said. “I usually buy two a month.”

“Being able to realise our customers' dreams is what inspires me,” said Bogdan Lefter, senior marketing manager with Big Ticket Abu Dhabi.

“Seeing the smiles on their faces is amazing. Even if you are talking to them on the phone, you can feel their smile even if you can't see it.”

A Dh20 million prize is up for grabs in the next monthly draw, which takes place on November 3.

Updated: October 19, 2023, 5:27 PM