Hit a ~200 million jackpot in Abu Dhabi
His wife had been thinking about pranking him when he called. Harikrishnan V Nair, an Indian expat living in Abu Dhabi, told Nisha that they might have won 12 million dirhams (roughly ~20 crore) in a lottery. She was calm in her disbelief. The pragmatic woman considered lottery tickets a waste of money.
Even a week earlier, when Nair had sat fantasising about what he would do if he won a lottery, Nisha had told him to not fuss about luck and focus on the task at hand. Nair is a business development manager and Nisha works as a logistics manager. And they both love their jobs.
Nair was in Sharjah when he made the call to his wife. His brunch with a former colleague was interrupted by a caller who told him that he had won the first prize in Abu Dhabi’s Big Ticket raffle draw. Nair was cautious ignored the call. Then he got another call. When the same congratulatory greeting was repeated by a second caller, Nair thought of the ticket he had bought and decided to involve his wife.
Back in Abu Dhabi, Nisha pulled the ticket out from her husband’s email and asked her boss — also a family friend — to visit the lottery website and check if the news was indeed true. Nair’s name flashed at the top of a list and against it — the word winner and the figure ~200 million.
Nisha and her boss immediately dialled Nair on his cellphone. The man who had repeatedly believed in his luck and which had paid off handsomely this time, was not reachable. But word had spread in Nisha’s office and the celebrations had begun.
“A lot of people ask me what I’ll do with the money,” says Nair, “It’s for my family, my son’s education and my retirement. I have no other plans.” But Nisha reveals there’s an expensive world tour coming up.
Soon after the good news was confirmed, Nair called his mother back in Kerala. Even after he told her that he had won a lot of money in a lottery, she wouldn’t stop complaining about how he hadn’t come to meet her last year. “She asked me when I would meet her next, I told her I was coming this week,” says Nair.
Nair had left Kerala in 2002 and settled in Abu Dhabi. While he has a work trip to the US on his agenda, he will join his wife in Kerala soon after. The couple top the list of 10 winners who have won over 1 million dirhams in Big Ticket Abu Dhabi’s biggest payout, till date. Eight of the winners are Indians. A particularly lucky year for Indian expats in the UAE.
The couple’s seven-year-old son Karan thinks his father should buy a Camaro, and his mother some new shoes. He doesn’t have much to say about his own desires. He probably knows they’ll be taken care of.