An auto-rickshaw driver, who was planning to move to Malaysia to work as a chef, won the Rs 25 crore Onam bumper lottery in Kerala on Sunday after his application for a loan of Rs 3 lakh was cleared. Exactly a day after.
More interestingly, Anoop, a resident of Shrivarham here, bought the winning ticket TJ 750605 on Saturday.
But it was not his first choice, he told media persons present at the agency where he had bought the ticket.
He said that he did not like his first ticket, so he chose the second ticket which turned out to be the winner.
About the loan and his visit to Malaysia, an enthusiastic Anoop said, “The bank called today about the loan and I said I don’t need it anymore. I won’t be going to Malaysia either.” Anoop said that he has been buying lottery tickets for the last 22 years and has won an amount ranging from a few hundreds to a maximum of Rs 5,000.
“I was not expecting to win and hence, I was not watching the lottery results on TV. However, when I checked my phone, I saw that I had won. I couldn’t believe it and I showed it to my wife. He confirmed that it was the winning number,” he said.
“But I was still under stress, so I called a lady I know who sells lottery tickets and sent her a picture of my ticket. She confirmed it was the winning number,” Anoop said.
After deducting the tax, Anoop will take home around Rs 15 crore.
Asked what he intends to do with the windfall, he said his first priority is to build a house for his family and clear the outstanding debt.
Apart from this, Anoop said that he will help his relatives, do some charity work and start something in the hotel sector in Kerala.
His wife, who was with him at the agency, told reporters that he had been buying tickets for years.
“Ever since everyone came to know about the victory, we have been getting a lot of calls,” he added.
“I will buy lottery tickets again,” said Anoop, as the reporters pushed each other to take a few words from him.
Incidentally, last year the Onam bumper lottery worth Rs 12 crore was also won by an auto-rickshaw driver. Jaipalan PR, an auto-rickshaw driver from Maradu near Kochi, won the lottery last year.
This year the second prize of Rs 5 crore will go to ticket owner TG 270912.
Apart from this, 10 others have won prizes worth Rs 1 crore each.
The winning numbers were selected by state Finance Minister KN Balagopal at a lucky draw ceremony held earlier in the day at Gorky Bhawan here.