Rajeev Arikkatt, an Indian immigrant residing in the UAE, was swept up in a wave of joyful celebration as news spread of his remarkable win of 15 million dirhams (approximately ₹33 crore) in the Big Ticket Abu Dhabi weekly draw. The life-altering windfall came as an unexpected surprise to Rajeev, who received the winning ticket, number 037130, as a complimentary addition during raffle draw number 260, as reported by Khaleej Times.
For the past three years, Rajeev, who works at an architectural firm in Al Ain, has been diligently participating in the Big Ticket draws. He shares his home with his wife and their two young children, aged five and eight. The winning ticket held special significance for Rajeev, as it featured the birthdays of his cherished children.
Still grappling with the enormity of his sudden fortune, Rajeev has yet to solidify his plans for the substantial windfall. However, in a heartwarming turn of events, he has expressed his intention to share his good fortune by dividing the prize money equally among 19 others. This altruistic decision not only magnifies the joy of his win but also transforms it into a shared celebration for a broader community.
Reflecting on his winning ticket purchased on January 11, Rajeev shared, “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, my wife and I 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.”
The 40-year-old man from Kerala had harbored high hopes of winning, having acquired a total of six tickets for the draw. Surprisingly, it was the complimentary ticket that clinched his victory.
Recalling the moment when he received the call from show hosts Richard and Bouchra, Rajeev remarked, “I was speechless. I couldn’t describe the feelings in words. I recognized 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.”