71-year-old Indian national wins $1m in Dubai Duty Free raffle


khaleejtimes, 09-07-2019 20:30:38


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Jaya Gupta (right) with her mother.

71-year-old Indian national wins $1m in Dubai Duty Free raffle

Jaya, who hails from Mumbai, bought the winning ticket number 0993 for the Series 303 draw on May 10.

The recent Dubai Duty Free (DDF) Millennium Millionaire, could attest to the sayings that ’patience is a virtue’ and ’age does not matter’ in winning.

Jaya Gupta, a 71-year-old Indian national and Dubai resident, has finally hit the $1 million jackpot on Tuesday, July 9, after buying tickets every single time she has travelled abroad in the past 20 years.

Jaya, who hails from Mumbai, bought the winning ticket number 0993 for the Series 303 draw on May 10 when she went to visit her 91-year-old mother, Lakshmi Hariharan, who is now living in Pune with her older brother.

"I couldn’t believe it (win) - I was so emotional.  I arrived in Dubai in 1993 and I’ve been buying DDF tickets since its inception in 1999," she told Khaleej Times over the phone

Because of her mother’s frail condition, Jaya has been recently travelling between Dubai and Mumbai at least once every two months. All those times, she said, it has become her habit to buy at least a ticket before boarding the plane.

"After so many attempts, I thought I was unlucky but I still continued buying tickets, with fervent hope and prayers that I would win," said Jaya, adding: "And, finally lady luck hit me on Tuesday."

"I just came out from a meeting and I was drinking water when someone from DDF called me. At first, I thought, it was a prank but the guy calmly told me that I had won $1 million. It was absolutely unbelievable. I was so emotional. I immediately called my husband who is in Mumbai, to share the news," she shared.

"I haven’t called my mother yet but I will come to visit her again later this month," added Jaya, who runs her own trading company in Dubai.

When asked about her plans with her winnings, she said: "Before, when I started buying tickets I thought of using the money to expand my business. But through the years, I have expanded my business with patience and sheer hard work."

"I am not rich but I’m also not poor. My son is now settled with his family in the US, where he works as computer professional. I have a business in Dubai, which is my second home, and I can say that I have lived a long and comfortable life."

"I’ve worked hard but I also knew that someday I will win a big windfall and it has come. Now, I will donate some of my winnings to charity and also buy a house for my two adopted daughters who are in India," Jaya added.

She continued: "I have always been an optimist. I never gave up and always looked in the brighter side of things. My patience paid off and I actually enjoy more not the prize but the shrill joy of winning."

Meanwhile, another lucky ticket holder who will be claiming $1 million is Ravi Ramchand Bachani, a 37-year old Dubai-based Indian national who won in Series 304 with ticket number 0969.

The Dubai resident for 14-years, runs a garment business and is a regular participant of the million-dollar promotion in the past 10 years. He bought his lucky ticket when he was travelling to Croatia with his wife, during the Eid holidays.

Two more lucky residents won luxury vehicles. Joravar Singh, 29, won a Mercedes while Esraa Yousef Mohammad Elayan, 27, won a BMW S 1000 XR motorbike.

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