Indian, Japanese travellers win $1 million each in Dubai Duty Free draw

DDF representatives with the two winning tickets at Concourse C of Dubai International Airport on Wednesday
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: An Indian and Japanese national each won $1 million in the latest Dubai Duty Free (DDF) Millennium Millionaire and Finest Surprise draw on Wednesday.

Rupa Harish Dhawan, 49, based in Mumbai, India bought her DDF ticket for the first time when she was flying back to Mumbai from Dubai.

The winners of the draw were announced at Concourse C of Dubai International Airport.

Dhawan, a housewife and a mother of three, said she and her husband had visited Dubai to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. On their way back to Mumbai, her husband persuaded her to purchase a DDF ticket.

“It’s a big thing for me. I have never had a win of such kind. I cannot believe that with my first ever DDF ticket, my luck will change,” she said.

Dhawan is the 224th Indian national to win $1 million in the Millennium Millionaire promotion since its launch in 1999. Indian nationals are said to be the biggest DDF ticket buyers.

Another winner, from Japan, also walked home with a $1 million. Nana Kakihara, a 30-year-old Japanese national based in Miyazaki, Japan, was announced a winner after her winning ticket was picked up in the draw. She purchased the ticket on her way to Maldives for her honeymoon.

Kakihara, also a first time DDF ticket buyer, works for a company in Miyazaki, Japan.

I am elated to win this on my first ever ticket,” she said. When asked of her initial plans with her win, she said: “I want to buy a new car and travel the world with my family.”

Kakihara is the third Japanese national to win $1 million in the Millennium Millionaire promotion since 1999.

Other winners

Following the Millennium Millionaire draw, the Finest Surprise draw was conducted for three luxury cars and two motorbikes.

An Indian expat Rashmi R, won a Mercedes G 63 car in the Finest Surprise Series 1869, for which she purchased a ticket online.

Seamus Louis, 44, an Indian expat based in Dubai, won an Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory motorbike. A regular participant in DDF’s promotion for six years, Louis is a father of three and works as a store manager for a luxury lifestyle brand.

Joining the bandwagon, another Indian expat, Neena Joseph, 33, based in Sharjah won a BMW R 1250 RS motorbike with a ticket number she purchased on her way to Kochi, India.

A resident of Sharjah for seven years and a regular participant in DDF’s promotion for two years, Joseph works as staff nurse for a community medical center in Sharjah.

Bahraini national Hameed Abdulla Yousuf, 78, based in Hamad Town, won a BMW X6 M60i xDrive car. His winning ticket number 0083 was picked up in the Finest Surprise Series 1865 which he purchased online on February 6.

A regular participant in Dubai Duty Free’s promotion for 10 years, Yousuf is a father of five.

“This is one of the best calls that I have received in my life. I am glad that I finally won something from Dubai Duty Free after participating for such a long time. Indeed, perseverance has paid off.”

Swiss national Michael Konrad Steinhoefel, 51, based in Basel, Switzerland won a Mercedes Benz S500 car with ticket number 1284 in the Finest Surprise Series 1868, which he purchased online on February 6.

Steinhoefel who works as a risk manager for a bank, is a regular participant at the DDF draws for 15 long years.

“Thanks for running such a promotion that gives people the opportunity to win. I am happy to be part of it now,” he said.