Ranjit Somaranjan, a Kerala man who has been a taxi driver in Dubai for the last 12 years won 20 million dirhams or Rs 40 crore in a raffle draw in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Ranjeet will be sharing this prize money with his nine other associates who pooled together 100 dirhams to buy the lottery ticket. The Dubai-based driver said that he and his friends who work at a hotel's valet parking department bought a lottery ticket on June 29.
In an interview with Khaleej Times, Ranjeet said that he had been buying lottery tickets for the last three years and had no expectations of winning the first place. He hoped for the second and third prize which were worth 3 million dirhams and 1 million dirhams respectively. But now that he has hit the jackpot he plans to improve the quality of his family's life with the money.
"I have been here since 2008. I worked as a driver with Dubai Taxi and different companies. Last year, I worked as driver-cum-salesman with a company but with my salary deduction, it was a difficult life. Now, I have found a job as a driver-cum-PRO at a new company. I will join soon, maybe next month. My salary will be Dh3,500. My wife works at a hotel. I used to buy tickets with the aim of improving my quality of life. I always wanted to do my own business. I will consult my family and make a decision," he said according to the news site.
According to the report, Somraj was returning from Hatta along with his wife and son during the announcement of the winning numbers. After hearing the results for the second and third prizes, he thought he missed his chance once again.
"I just told the almighty that I missed again. But while I was driving to the vegetable market, something stirred my mind. I returned to the mosque. And believe it or not, my ticket number (349886) was called out. My eight-year-old son, who was following the event, screamed in joy," Somarajan said
Somraj has been in Dubai since 2008 and originally belongs to Kerala's Kollam district. After moving to Dubai he switched between several jobs to make a decent income for himself and his family.
(Edited by Purnima Priyadarsini)
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