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Debt-ridden Kerala auto driver’s luck opened, lottery worth 12 crores

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A 58-year-old auto-rickshaw driver from Kerala’s Ernakulam district was declared the winner of the Rs 12 crore Thiruvonam bumper lottery set up by the state government. Jaipalan PR, a resident of Maradu, Kochi, was certified as the first prize winner of the lottery when he deposited the original of the prize winning ticket at a nearby bank branch. After deducting tax and agency commission, he is expected to get an amount of around Rs 7.4 crore.

Jayapalan told local media that he had bought a lottery ticket from the Meenakshi Lucky Centre. The ticket cost was Rs 300. He said that he regularly buys lottery tickets and has already won Rs 5,000.

On Sunday afternoon, he realized God was the winner when the ticket number flashed on the TV screen during the draw in Thiruvananthapuram under the supervision of two state government ministers. He reportedly told his son about the ticket but did not disclose the news to his friends or family. On Monday, he cross-checked the news published in the newspaper and went straight to the bank and deposited the ticket.

When asked what he would do with the prize money, Jayapalan told a channel, “I have some debts which I want to repay. I also have two civil cases going on in the court which I would like to clear. I want to give good education to my children and help my sisters financially.

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His mother told the channel, ‘We were drowning in debt. Had it not been a lottery, my son would not have been able to pay it. I think God saw my tears and helped us.

At the same time, Syed Alawi, a cook at a hotel in Dubai in Kerala’s Wayanad district, had claimed that he too was the winner of the lottery. After his claim, there was confusion about the winner. He said that his friend in Kerala, who had bought the ticket for him, had sent him a picture of the winning ticket. But later it was revealed that Alavi’s friend had tricked him. After the lottery draw, thousands of people spread information on TV channels and social media that revealed the winner of the state’s biggest lottery.

Apart from the jackpot of Rs 12 crore, the lottery also had prizes of Rs 1 crore for six winners, Rs 10 lakh for 12 winners, Rs 5 lakh for 12 winners and Rs 1 lakh for 108 winners. Prize money is calculated after deducting taxes and commissions for the agency and ticket seller.

The state government’s lottery department said it had printed 54 lakh tickets for the Thiruvonam bumper lottery this year, all of which were sold out. The department had printed 10 lakh more tickets than last year. This year bumper sales of Rs 126 crore were made.

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