July 06, 2019: An Indian woman has won a jackpot of 12 million dirhams ($3.2 million) at the Big Ticket raffle in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital and said she wants to use a part of the money to support underprivileged people, especially women.
Sopna Nair, who hails from Kollam in Kerala, won the money in the Wednesday raffle.
After winning the raffle, she said: "I want to support underprivileged people, especially women. I’ve always done small charitable projects in whatever way I could, now I have the financial freedom to do a lot more."
Nair said she also wished to support her and her husband’s family with the winning amount, the Khaleej Times reported on Friday.
Nair, who works as a senior structural engineer in an Abu Dhabi-based consultancy, said she and her family are still in a state of shock after hearing the news.
"I am still coming to terms with the news, it’s not even been 24 hours since I found out and so it’s a lot to take in."
The woman said that her husband, also from Kerala, was not aware of her raffle ticket purchase.
"I don’t buy the ticket every time. This might’ve been the third or fourth time I got it... This time, I didn’t tell my husband. And when we found out that we’d won, he was in shock as well," she added.
Nair called her five-year-old daughter her lucky charm and said that she also wants to use the money for her future.
Talking about her plans to continue her job in the Abu Dhabi firm, Nair said: "This is the eighth year in this company and I have such a big commitment to the firm. I really haven’t had didn’t have the time to process the news. My company has helped me immensely and I’m extremely indebted to them.
Held at Abu Dhabi International Airport every month, the Big Ticket Draw is the UAE’s largest and longest running raffle draw.
The monthly event has been proven to be hugely popular thanks to its high winning returns, with participants including both residents and people living outside the country whom can buy tickets online.