In a rags-to-riches tale, a 46-year-old lottery vendor in Kollam has become a crorepati overnight after an unsold ticket won the first prize of Rs 12 crore in the Kerala government's Christmas-New Year bumper issue. It was a sweet surprise when Sharafudeen A, who hails from Tenkasi in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, learnt that the ticket that remained with him among other unsold ones, had bagged the top prize in the lottery.
Living in a small house on 'poramboke' (government) land at Eravidharmapuram near Aryankavu in Kollam district, bordering Tamil Nadu, it had been a struggle for Sharafudeen, a Gulf returnee, to take care of his six-member joint family, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I want to build a house of my own, clear my debts and start a small business with the prize amount," he told PTI. Sharafudeen, who returned from Riyadh in 2013 after working there for nine years doing odd jobs, had been selling lottery tickets in and around Aryankavu.
His family comprises his mother, two brothers, wife and son Pervez Musharraf, a Class 10 student. He also said that in the past, he used to win small prizes from the lottery, but that it was the first time that he hit a jackpot.
On Tuesday, he appeared before the Lottery Directorate in Thiruvananthapuram and produced the winning ticket. Sharafudeen would get about Rs 7.50 crore after 30% tax deduction and 10% agent commission in the prize money, sources said.
In September last year, a 24-year-old Idukki native Ananthu Vijayan, had won the Kerala governmentâ€™s Thiruvonam Bumper 2020 winning Rs 12 crore. Ananthu also hailed from a humble family. He had been working as a clerk at Ponneth Temple in Ernakulamâ€™s Kadavanthra when he won the lottery.