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OUR CORRESPONDENT

A Keralite taxi driver working in Dubai and nine others have won Dh20 million in the Abu Dhabi Big Ticket draw on July 3.

Kollam native Renjith Somarajan has been purchasing tickets for the past three years and the jackpot has come as an unexpected and divine stroke of luck.

The 38-year-old, who moved to Dubai 13 years ago, will be sharing the winnings with nine friends who pooled in money to purchase the Dh500 ticket. The friends are from Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Iran; they too had moved to the UAE many years ago to support their families back home.

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Renjith, his wife Sanjivani Perera, and son Niranjan were returning from Hatta when they heard the news live near a mosque in Ras Al Khor. He was disappointed when he missed out on the second and third prizes of Dh3 million and Dh1 million. But when his ticket number 349886 was called out as the first prize, the family could not believe their luck.

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It had always been Somarajan’s dream to win a lottery, and now it has come true. He said life had been tough and he kept hopping jobs in the hope of a better salary. The pandemic had seen a salary cut and he had switched jobs recently.

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He said he was still in shock and has not really decided what to do with the money. He is sure it will help him to take better care of his family, his sisters and mother in Kerala, and also buy land in Kerala and start a business in Dubai with a friend.