It was nothing short of a “dream come true” moment for Rajeev Arikkatt, an Indian expat in the UAE when he won 15 million dirhams (approximately Rs 33 crore) in the Big-Ticket Abu Dhabi weekly draw.
As per a report by Khaleej Times, Mr Arikkatt had high hopes of winning this time, given that he purchased a total of six tickets for the draw.
However, this win came as a complete surprise for Mr Arikkatt, as it was the complimentary ticket, number 037130, which secured his victory.
Mr Arikkatt got his winning ticket as a freebie during raffle draw number 260.
Now let us take a look at who Rajeev Arikkatt is.
– Rajeev Arikkatt, who hails from Kerala in India, works at an architectural firm in the UAE city of Al Ain.
– The 40-year-old, who bought the lottery ticket on January 10, has been living in the UAE for more than 10 years.
– The architectural draftsman lives with his wife and their two children—five years old and eight years old.
– Mr Arikkatt has been participating in the Big Ticket draws for the past three years.
– This time around, the first-time lottery winner along with his wife decided to select the tickets with numbers 7 and 13, which are the birth dates of their children.
Talking about his victory, in conversation with the Khaleej Times, Mr Arikkatt said, “I have been residing in Al Ain for more than 10 years. I have been purchasing tickets for the past 3 years. This is the first time I have won a lottery. This time, me and my wife selected tickets with numbers 7 and 13, which are the birth dates of our children. Two months ago, I missed Dh1 million by a whisker with the same combination, but this time I was fortunate.”
Describing his feelings after the big announcement, he added, “I was speechless. I couldn’t describe the feelings in words. I recognised Richard’s voice, as I had been listening to it for years. I knew he called the winners, but I never imagined it was the first prize. It was a surprise. This is a life-changing moment, not just for me but for others in our group.”