Seems 2021 has turned out to be best year for an Indian expat who has won a whopping jackpot of 20 million dirhams in a raffle in Abu Dhabi. According to Gulf News, Abdussalam NV, who is originally from Kerala and now resides in Muscat, won 20 million dirhams (approximately Rs 39 crore) in the Big Ticket raffle held in Abu Dhabi. His ticket number 323601, bought on December 29, made him the first lucky winner of this year’s raffle draw in the UAE. Also Read - Millionaire Overnight! Unemployed Indian Expat Who Lost His Job Due to Covid-19 Wins Rs 7 Crore in Dubai Raffle

Initially, Big Ticket officials could not locate the winner and put out a notice for assistance. Speaking to Gulf News on Monday, Abdussalam said: “The organisers were trying a different international code and perhaps that is why they could not reach me.”

Notably, it was Abdussalam’s friend who broke the blockbuster news to him.

“This is my fourth or fifth attempt of trying my luck in the Big Ticket. I will be sharing the amount with my friends. I have to check how many are there. I can’t tell now. But there are more people,” Abdussalam, who hails from Kozhikode district of Kerala, told Khaleej Times.

The father of two, who is elated beyond measure, said a good portion of the money will go into securing his children’s future.”It is a big news and I want to save it for my future,” he added.

Besides Abdussalam, another Indian expat Saju Thomas, won 3 million dirhams in the Big Ticket raffle. One raffle ticket costs 500 dirhams, but for 1,000 dirhams one can three tickets in a buy-two-get-one-free offer. Tickets can be bought from the official website www.bigticket.ae or through Big Ticket stores at the Abu Dhabi International Airport arrivals hall counter and Al Ain International Airport.

In a similar story of changed fortunes, 30-year-old Navaneeth Sajeevan, who was unemployed in the wake of Covid-19, won Rs 7.3 crore in the lucky draw of the Dubai Duty Free raffle.

(With IANS inputs)