Al Hilal Publishing & Marketing GroupPO Box 1100,
Kingdom of Bahrain
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Newspaper delivery boy E P Velayudan has bought prize draw tickets every month for the past 10 years … and finally his number came up with a humdinger of a prize!
In fact it was a cool Hummer worth BD12,200 and the lucky 43-year-old has cashed in his prize motor and raised enough money to buy a plot of land in Malappuram in the picturesque south Indian state of Kerala.
He said: “The foundation’s complete and the work is coming along gradually. I can’t wait to see my own home – on my own land!”
Velayudan’s magic moment happened as he strolled in Manama near the Bab Al Bahrain and spotted a boy selling tickets for Arabian Gulf Raffle Draw.
At first he decided to keep hold of his cash and took shelter to escape the heat.
While strolling inside the Sheraton Complex he came across the Hummer H3 on display.
He said: “I stood staring at it for a while and for some reason walked back to where the boy was standing and bought a BD20 ticket from him.
“After filling and dropping it into the box I went along with my friend to the Manama Temple and prayed.”
Later that evening, while walking back home, he received the call telling him he had won the first prize.
“I was shaking in shock. They asked me to go to the Golden Tulip Hotel right away as they were handing out the prizes.”
He didn’t call home right then; who eventually found out from an Indian television show.
Velayudan sold off his Hummer for BD8,700 With the money he cleared off all his debts and then he did something that he had always yearned desperately to do.
He explained: “In my hometown there is a ritual for people to be cremated on their own soil. And so I used to pray to God daily to please let me have some land of my own where I can be put to rest. Now my prayer has been answered and my gratitude knows no bounds.”
“My wife and children stay at her parent’s house. There is a special joy to own your own land and live in your very OWN home.”
Velayudan plans to carry on working for Al Hilal Group in Bahrain until his children finish their education and will eventually retire to his new home.
By Shilpa Chandran