Thiruvanantapuram, Sep 24, 2022: From impalpable happiness to utter annoyance, Kerala’s auto-rickshaw driver K Anoop, who won the Rs 25 crore Onam lottery prize, has been through an emotional rollercoaster over the last five days.
Though initially ecstatic, Anoop now says he wishes he had not won the prize money as he has lost his peace of mind after various individuals, charity organisations and NGOs keep knocking at his door and hounding his family for monetary help.
Anoop’s family says people have been congregating outside their house for the last few days and refuse to leave.
“We are feeling trapped inside our own house as people hound us everywhere. Even when my son was sick, I was not able to take him to the hospital as people had blocked my gate. I have not got my money and I am yet to take a decision on what to do with it,” Anoop told News18. He had also posted a video on Facebook describing how his family was unable to take his son to the hospital, fearing they may be harassed on the way.
“Now I wish I had not won it at all. At first, we really enjoyed the media attention and good wishes from people. But now, it has become a total headache. I do plan to help people but that decision will be taken at a much later stage,” he added.
The auto-rickshaw-driver-turned-millionaire was all set to leave for Malaysia to work as a cook and improve the financial state of his family just days before he won the lottery. At first, people visited him to congratulate him on his win but little did he realise that his humble home will be besieged by people seeking financial help out of his good fortune.
After necessary deductions, Anoop is expected to receive a net amount of Rs 16.25 crore.
Interestingly, the agencies and organisations approaching Anoop have fixed the amount that they expect him to “voluntarily contribute”.
“They come to us with amounts they themselves fix on our behalf. They quote amounts such as Rs 10-15 lakh that they expect from us. If we pay everybody this kind of money, what is the use of us winning a lottery?” asked Anoop’s wife Maya.
She also has a word of advice for her husband. “We can’t take out all our money and give it away like this and later regret that we should not have donated such large amounts without proper consultation. After the government session is over, we will know what is to be done. We will take a call after understanding the details. At least for two years, we will try and not use that money,” she said.
A month before purchasing the Onam bumper lottery ticket, Anoop had applied for a bank loan to build a part of his home in Thiruvananthapuram. After the news of the lottery broke, the bank called him to ask if he still wanted the money. “I told them I don’t need it anymore,” he said.
Anoop and his family await a special training programme from the central government on how to invest this large lump sum wisely. As of now, he says he will go for a fixed deposit at least for the next couple of years.
“I feel I should not have won the first prize. The second (Rs 5 crore) or third prize (1 crore) instead of the first may have been better. It would not have caused so much trouble in my life,” he said.