Sufairath from Panamaram in Wayanad fainted on Monday morning as the media reached her for a reaction on her husband, a kitchen helper at a restaurant in Dubai, winning a bumper prize in a State lottery. The prize, Rs 12 crore was a figure unimaginable to the ordinary housewife in a small town in the hilly district. Soon, the scene turned to be a recap of one from the three-decade-old megahit Mohanlal film Kilukkam.
So first learn how the news reached the village. A Dubai-based Malayali YouTuber had posted a video on TikTok claiming that his neighbour Saithalavi had won the grand prize in the Kerala government’s Thiruvonam Bumper BR-81 lottery.
Saithalavi, 45, located at Abu Hail in Dubai said he bought it a week ahead of the draw by the lotteries department on Sunday. According to him, he had paid his Kozhikode-based friend Rs 300 via GooglePay to buy the ticket when he came to know about the jackpot-winning. Afterwards, the friend sent a picture of the ticket, TE 645465 which won the bumper prize, via Whatsapp.
Though Saithalavi added that his son and relatives would soon hand over the ticket to the agency, there was some confusion over the ticket sold at Thripunithura near Kochi reaching Kozhikode. Soon after the results were out on Sunday afternoon, the identity of the lottery dealer, Murukesan Thevar of Kollam, was known, but the first prize winner could not be tracked instantly.
After a day of drama, the original winner appeared before the media on Monday evening, after submitting the winning ticket to a bank in Kochi. He was Jayapalan, 56, an auto driver foam Maradu near Kochi.
Speaking to the media, Jayapalan, a regular in buying lotteries said he plans to pay back his debts with the prize money, a sum of Rs 7.39 crore after deducting agent commission of 10 per cent and income tax.
The ticket, which was distributed at Kuranagappaly Sub Office in Kollam, was sold at the Meenakshi Lottery agency on the Tripunithura Statue-East Fort Road. The staff at the agency said it was sold as a single ticket from its counter. Jayapalan had purchased the ticket on September 10.
As the news of Jayapalan claiming the prize came, a disheartened Saithalavi said he was tricked by some people. He said he was dejected on learning the news of the real winner.
Meanwhile, Ahammed, reportedly who sent the lottery’s picture to Saithalavi, said the latter was lying and he just forwarded a photo of the lottery found on Facebook as a joke. Saithalavi’s colleagues, meanwhile, said they are considering legal action against those who duped Saithalavi and causing embarrassment to him and his family.
Now back to the famous lottery scene in Kilukkam film, directed by Priyadarshan. Kittunni, a servant with a former judge is falling into a trap by his female colleague, girlfriend of Mohanlal. The colleague after learning his lottery ticket number reads out it from the newspaper as the bumper prize winning number. On learning the ‘news,’ Kittunni, played by Innocent, a former member of Parliament, faints before showering abuse on his tyrant boss. The 1991 film was remade into Hindi as Muskurahat in the next year.
Curiously, the State government had won the real jackpot from the sale of tickets of the Thiruvonam Bumper during the lockdown. It had garnered Rs 126.56 crore from the sale of nearly 54 lakh tickets costing Rs 300, from July 22. It may get a profit of Rs 30.54 crore.