Auto driver-cum-chef on cloud nine as he wins Rs 25 crore Onam bumper lottery
An auto rickshaw driver, who planned to go to Malaysia to work as a chef, won the Rs 25 crore Onam bumper lottery in Kerala on Sunday, just a day after his Rs 3 lakh loan application was approved.
More interestingly, Anoop, who is from Sreevaraham here, bought the winning ticket — TJ 750605 — on Saturday.
But it was not his first choice, he told media people present at the agency where he bought the ticket.
He didn’t like the first ticket he chose, so he chose another ticket which turned out to be a winner, he said.
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About the loan and his trip to Malaysia, an ecstatic Anoop said, “The bank called about the loan today and I said I don’t need it anymore. I’m not going to Malaysia either.”
He has been buying lottery tickets for the past 22 years and has won amounts ranging from several hundred to up to Rs 5,000 in the past, Anoop said.
“I didn’t expect to win so I didn’t watch the lottery results on TV. However, when I looked on my phone I saw that I had won. I couldn’t believe it and showed it to my wife. She confirmed that it was the winning song”, he said.
“But I was still tense, so I called a lady I know who sells lottery tickets and sent her a picture of my lottery ticket. She confirmed it was the winning number,” said Anoop.
After taxes, Anoop would likely take home around Rs 15 crore.
When asked what he plans to do with the windfall, he said his first priority is to build a house for his family and pay off the debts that have accumulated.
In addition, Anoop said he would help his relatives, do some charity work and start something in the field of hotels in Kerala.
His wife, who was also present at the agency with him, told reporters that he has been buying tickets for years.
“We’ve had a lot of calls since everyone heard about the win,” she continued.
“I will be buying lottery tickets again,” Anoop said as reporters jostled to get a few words from him.
Incidentally, last year’s Onam bumper lottery, for Rs 12 crore, was also won by an auto rickshaw driver. Jayapalan PR, an auto rickshaw driver from Maradu near Kochi, won the lottery last year.
This year’s second prize of Rs 5 crore goes to the ticket owner — TG 270912.
In addition, 10 others have won a prize of Rs 1 crore each.
The winning number was selected by State Finance Minister KN Balagopal in a raffle held here in Gorky Bhavan earlier today.
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