A group of 40 members, including 38 Indians working in a Qatar-based hypermarket chain, won 10 million dirhams ($ 2.72 million) in a raffle in the United Arab Emirates, according to an article by press released Monday.
The winning ticket was purchased on behalf of Indian expat Naheel Nizamudeen at the Big Ticket Lottery in Abu Dhabi, the Khaleej Times reported.
Mr Nizamudeen, from Kerala, has not been able to be reached since Sunday evening and lottery organizers had to contact his parents in India to announce the news of the mega prize.
In the lottery application, Mr. Naheel had given his Indian number which was not active. However, he also gave his parents’ alternate number, which is how the organizers contacted him.
The prize will be shared by 39 other winners, including 37 Indians (all from Kerala) and the other two from Bangladesh. All are employees of the Qatar-based hypermarket chain Al Suwayed Group.
“We usually get a lot of spam calls. I still can’t believe we won,” Naheel told the newspaper.
“We all come from middle class families and have financial problems. So the future of 40 families is secured with this jackpot,” said Shinoy Othayoth Kizhak, one of the winners and Mr. Nizamedeen’s roommate.
Mr Shinoy said it was the first time 40 people bought the ticket.
“Usually there are 10 to 15 people who buy the ticket. Since we haven’t won in the last two years, we’ve grown our group to 40 … you never know who’s lucky,” Mr. Shinoy said over the phone.