Abu Dhabi Big Ticket winners meet up: 'I can now dare to dream', UAE's latest millionaire says


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Dubai: Organisers of one of the biggest jackpot draws in the world — Big Ticket — arranged a meet-up with the latest UAE multi-millionaire and with previous winners.

On board a yacht in Dubai Marina, hosts Richard and Bushra welcomed the draw’s big winners along with the others who had won cash and bonanza prizes.

“We have been meaning to meet with our winners and the press as well for sometime. The meet-up was organised so we could see our winners in a more lighter setting and so we can get to know them. We are pleased that some of winners decided to come along with us on a yacht ride and chat with us,” said Richard.

Gulf News caught up with UAE’s latest millionaire, Shahed Ahmed Moulvifaiz, 55, a Bangladeshi car garage owner living in Al Ain. A resident of UAE for nearly 40 years now, he said this was a life-changing moment for him. “I can now dare to dream,” he said during the yacht ride on Wednesday. Shahed won Dh10 million in the Abu Dhabi Big Ticket draw on April 3. He said he had been buying lottery tickets for the past two decades, but never once thought he would win it this big.

Shahed, who lives in Al Ain with his son, runs a family business. His two other children live with his wife in Bangladesh.

“I have a dream to build a big house back home in Chittagong. I also need to save money for my children’s education. In addition, I want to go on a holiday with my wife and children. So there’s a lot to be done with this money,” he said.

Another jackpot winner, Indian expatriate Shivamurthy Krishnappa, who lives in Sharjah, won Dh12 million last month. He was also present at the dinner hosted by Big Ticket onboard the yacht.

Shivamurthy, who hails from Shimoga district in the Indian state of Karnataka, told Gulf News he will buy a three-bedroom apartment back home in India with the prize money. “It will be a simple house for my family and I plan to build it back in my hometown. I don’t want to build a fancy house as of now. I will be responsible with my winning money. I don’t want to splurge.” He also said part of the prize money will go towards his children’s education. “I am giving some money to my brother to run a real estate business. The rest will be saved for the future.”

Big Ticket winner Shivamurthy Krishnappa with hosts Bushra and Richard during the yacht ride in Dubai Marina.
Image Credit: Antonin Kelian Kallouche/Gulf News

A mechanical engineer in Dubai since 2005, Krishnappa has been buying the Big Ticket every month for the last three years. “Everyone should dream and dream big. You never know when your dreams will be fulfilled. Big Ticket changes lives for sure. My life has changed. I feel blessed.”

Pakistani visitor to UAE, Zaheen Kousar, who won Dh90,000 in the April draw, could not stop smiling while speaking to Gulf News. “My husband bought the ticket in my name and I cannot believe I have won. I told my husband that I want to buy a fancy car when I go back home. My husband has helped many people for education. I guess it is his goodness that has rewareded us.”

One of the winners of the Abu Dhabi Big Ticket draw.
Image Credit: Antonin Kelian Kallouche/Gulf News

Speaking to Gulf News, hosts Richard and Bushra, said every time they hosted the event, they had goosebumps! “There is a huge responsibility and we are aware that one person’s life is changing for sure in a big way. We are part of that journey and trust me, every time I call out the winner’s names, I get goosebumps. I am excited and wish everyone well,” they said.

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Bushra said she felt so happy to meet the winners personally. “Their smile says it all. When you can make even one person smile or feel happy, it makes a big difference. And that is how it should be every day. Make someone feel good, happy and be the reason to change someone’s life for the better.”


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