Rikkala Vilas, a farmer from Nizamabad won the top prize of Rs 28.43 crore (15 million dirhams) in the Big Ticket Abu Dhabi raffle that was announced on Saturday. A Khaleej Times report said that Vilas bought the lottery ticket along with his friend Ravi Masipeddi who currently lives in Abu Dhabi.
Vilas recently returned to India from Abu Dhabi and had been purchasing these lottery tickets with his friend during his stay these but never before did they get lucky.
The 2 friends pooled money to buy the ticket which cost around Rs 20,000 in Indian currency terms. A Times of India report said that Vilas borrowed money from his wife to pay for his share of the ticket.
He was earlier employed with a construction site in the UAE and also worked as a driver. "I don't have words to describe it. This is like a dream. I worked in a Dubai firm for 4-5 years and then left. And now I have this jackpot. This will take some time to sink in," Vilas said over a telephone, Khaleej Times reported.
The ticket was purchased in the name of Rikkala Vilas and the mobile number provided in the ticket was that of Masipeddi. They are to share the winnings.
Notably, five of the top ten prize winners of the lottery were Indian citizens on Saturday. The second prize was won by Somali expat Afrah Suleiman Ahmed.