For Smija K Mohanan, a lottery seller in Chunangamveli, her word to a man who brought her lottery ticket was more valuable than the 6 crores he won for his ticket. When the lottery ticket winner, Palachuvattil Chandran gifted her Rs 1 lakh from his ticket prize money, it seemed like her honesty was finally getting rewarded. Chandran, who had a summer bumper in March, received the money last day.
When Chandran invited Smija and her husband home, all they were told was that he wanted to take an Onam bumper lottery but found themselves receiving Rs 1 lakh cash money as a gift. It was only last month that Smija received Rs 51 lakh in commission on lottery sales. Smija is very clear that the money she received as a gift would be donated to the Chief Minister's Disaster Relief Fund. It was in March that, the state government's summer bumper lottery hit the number mentioned by Chandran over the phone. Even though Chandran hadn’t paid her the lottery money of Rs 200, she delivered the ticket safely to the winner's house. Smija, who has been selling lottery tickets in front of Rajgiri Hospital for years, had in fact asked quite a few people if they cared to purchase the unsold tickets. But only Chandran came forward.
He requested her to keep the ticket aside for him and promised to pay Rs 200 the next day. Smija kept the tickets aside and sent the photo to Chandran on WhatsApp. It was then that Chandran won the ticket promised to him and she had it delivered to his house. He received Rs 4 crore and 20 lakh as prize money after agency commission and taxes.
Smija and her husband Rajeshwaran were temporary employees of a lottery ticket printing press in Ernakulam district. It’s after she lost her job after taking leave for her son's treatment that they started selling lottery tickets. They live in a house in Pattimattam, Valampur, under the government's life plan. Smija buys tickets from Bhagyalakshmi Agency in Pattimatta.
When she found out about the lottery, Smija had only Rs 30 in her bag with the lottery. However, when the ticket worth Rs 6 crore was handed over to Chandran, Smija felt happy. In all fairness, she was probably the legal owner of the ticket as it hadn’t been handed over to Chandran and he hadn’t paid for it too. But she never forgot her promise to him.
For Smija, that was the least she could do to a man who always helped her during a crisis by buying her tickets. She has been appreciated for her honesty on social media. Many who came to congratulate her made sure they also purchased a lottery ticket. Smija is still actively selling lottery tickets despite having enough cash in her hands. At least that’s one thing she isn’t planning to quit for a long time.