For Indians, it is raining lotteries in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with three largest raffles being won by Indians for three consecutive months in 2018.
The monthly raffles in January, February and March were won by Indians who took away 7 million Dirhams (DHS), Dhs 10million and Dhs 12million respectively.
Other than this year’s raffle winners so far, Indians constitute the highest number of raffle winners in UAE.
Data from two of the biggest raffle draws in the UAE, which are Abu Dhabi’s Big Ticket raffle and Dubai Duty Free’s Millionaire Draw, show that Indian nationals turn out to be the luckiest. Raffle is a gambling competition in which people obtain numbered tickets and each ticket has a chance to win a prize; it is UAE’s equivalent to the lottery system.
Nisha Hari and her husband Harikrishnan V. Nair, 42, won the Big Ticket raffle draw held in Abu Dhabi in January. The price money was 12million Dhs.
The young couple from Kerala has been living in Abu Dhabi since 2002. While Nair is a business development manager for a firm in Dubai, Hari works as part of logistics support staff. This was the third time Nair had bought the Big Ticket. In an interview, Nair told the Khaleej Times, “I do not want to leave the UAE. This is the place where dreams come true. Also, I won’t leave my job either because I am very happy with my boss. I would like to plan for my son’s education and buy another house in India. I want to take good care of my mother and my wife’s mother too, who are in India.”
In Februrary, Sunil Mappatta Krishnan Kutty Nair, based in Abu Dhabi had won Dhs 10million, which was the second-largest reward given away in 2018. Sunil is a sales executive and had split the pot with four of his friends, namely Dipindas, Abhilash, Sainudheen and Shamshudheen, who contributed to the ticket cost Dhs 500.
Often lottery players contribute money to purchase the ticket and split the prize later. The third highest consecutive Indian winner was Thansilas Babu who won the Big Ticket in March scooping Dh7 million.
Held at Abu Dhabi airport every month, the Big Ticket Draw is the UAE’s largest and longest-running monthly raffle draw that started in 1992 and each ticket costs Dh500.
According to the organisers’ data, out of the 312 first prize winners for Big Ticket since it began in 1992, Indian nationals have scooped 80% of the total winnings.
On the other hand is Dubai Duty Free’s Millionaire Draw, which has been running since 1999 and has handed over 264 cheques worth $1 million each to visitors and residents of the UAE.