If you want to know the power of raffles and its ability to change lives, then just hear the story of Vilas Rikkala and Ravi Masipeddi. They’re two friends from India who have won, between them, Dh15 million, which is a little more than $4 million.
Having bought a Big Ticket Abu Dhabi raffle ticket on July 29 and their winning numbers, 223805, were drawn. As can be expected, it has had a sudden and dramatic on their lives, to the point where they’re struggling to come to terms with what’s happened. Says Rikkala, “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. Now I have this jackpot. This will take some time to sink in." This is a normal reaction for people who suddenly find themselves on the end of a shock, whether it’s good or bad. Fortunately for Rikkala, it’s a positive thing - once the shock wears off, the joy of all that the money will allow them to do will begin to sink in.
The pair of friends were living in the United Arab Emirates, but Rikkala had left. Ravi is still in the country. He has to wait for Rikkala to come back before they can collect their winnings. They said that they’ve been playing the raffle for some time, and that the money used to purchase tickets was equal. This is great news because now they can simply split the winnings straight down the middle.
They were not the only Indian people on the list of winners. Indeed, of the top ten winners, six were from India. The other nationalities represented were Somalia, Egypt, and the Philippines. It is the two friends who have claimed the biggest prize that’ll be the happiest, however.
If you have an interest in playing raffles for cash prizes, then take a look at El Gordo de Navidad. It’s a Spanish raffle that takes place just before Christmas each year. While there are some large amounts of money to be won, it’s not just about the cash: this is a Spanish tradition that dates back to 1812. But let’s keep our minds on the prize involved, since there is a lot of money to be won. Each year, the total pool amount that’s paid out to winners stands at somewhere in the region of €2.52 billion, with the first prize taking in a cool €720 million, which is more than enough for a very merry Christmas indeed.
As this story has shown, it’s always possible that a raffle can change lives.