A day after the papers splashed their family picture and wrote their happy story, Rajani still could not believe that her husband has won the lottery. Porunnan Rajan from Koothuparamba in Kerala’s Kannur has won the Christmas bumper lottery of Rs 12 crore.
Speaking to TNM, Rajani's voice is a mix of excitement and mirth. “I could not believe it even when we went to the cooperative bank in Malur to hand over the ticket,” she says. Rajan is not at home but Rajani is happy to share their story.
They are daily wage labourers, Rajani and Rajan, and parents of three grownup children. The eldest, Ragil, is also a daily wage labourer like the parents. The middle one, Athira, is married and living with her husband. Akshara, the youngest, is a Plus 2 student. Among the dreams the family has is a wish to give at least the younger girl a proper education.
Rajan, affected with arthritis, had not been able to go to work every day and it is mostly on Rajani’s and Ragil’s meagre wages that the family survived.
“We were under debt after trying to build a house for ourselves and after the marriage of our elder daughter. Coming from a tribal background, we got some financial help to build the house – Rs 75,000. But we needed more and took loans from the district bank and other banks. It came to about Rs 5 lakh. To pay off that debt, Rajettan was going to take another loan. On the way, he went to Payyan Lottery at Koothuparamba and got the ticket,” Rajani says.
Rajan has had the habit of buying lottery tickets for a long time. “Even before I met him,” says Rajani, laughing. “He’d religiously set some money aside to buy lottery tickets. When it (the habit) became too much, I used to warn him against it.”
But she's glad that he didn’t listen to her and bought yet another ticket. “It’s a huge relief. The documents of our house are at the district bank we took loan from, kept there as surety. For this new loan, Rajettan had taken another property document we had. But we will not avail that loan now, though it has been approved. We want to finish settling the debts, build the house and educate our younger daughter,” Rajani says.