Varkey Thomas from Kerala has won a whopping $1 million in the second Dollar Millionaire lottery draw at Doha International Airport, according to a statement by Qatar Airways released in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Qatar Duty Free, a subsidiary of Qatar Airways, had organised the event. "I am so happy, this really is a gift from God," said Varkey after learning of the win.
Varkey, 55, is married and has four daughters. He works as general manager for an offshore company in Qatar.
He said the news had brought "great joy" to his family. The Thomas family has been living in Doha for 23 years. They purchased the winning ticket before boarding flight QR 264 to Kochi to visit his family in their hometown in Kerala in 2007.
Apart from Varkey, two other passengers won luxury cars in a simultaneous draw. They are Mohammed Issa Al Omari, a Jordanian national, who won a BMW 650i convertible and Iyad Mohamad Saad, a Canadian national who won a Mercedes-Benz CLS 350. Like Varkey, both are Qatar residents.
The Dollar Millionaire raffle was launched in May 2006. The chances of passengers winning are high as each draw is held after 5,000 tickets are sold.
Departing and transiting passengers at Doha International Airport are able to purchase raffle tickets, each priced at QAR-950, according to Qatar Duty Free deputy general manager Krishna Kumari, who supervised the event.