Suspense over! Kochi native emerges as winner of Rs 12 crore Onam Bumper lottery, submits ticket

Jayalapalan, an autorickshaw drive hailing from Maradu, has submitted the ticket bearing the number TE645465 to the Kochi branch of a bank to claim the prize. Photo: EV Sreekumar

Ernakulam: Putting an end to speculations around who the winner of the Rs-12-crore Thiruvonam Bumper lottery is, a Kochi native has submitted the jackpot-winning ticket to the bank on Monday.

Jayapalan, an autorickshaw drive hailing from Maradu, has submitted the ticket bearing the number TE645465 to the Kochi branch of a bank to claim the prize hours after rumours emerged that it was a non-resident Indian who won.

Speaking to media afterwards, Jayapalan said he buys lotteries routinely.

He intends to pay back his debts with the prize money.

The Kerala state lottery department had announced the Thiruvonam Bumper BR-81 lucky draw results on Sunday and the first prize of Rs 12 crore went to ticket number TE 645465.

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.

After deducting agent commission of 10 per cent and Income Tax, the recipient would get a sum of Rs 7.39 crores.

The cost of the ticket was Rs 300.

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 traced immediately.

Earlier, a Dubai-based Malayali YouTuber had posted a video on TikTok claiming that it was his neighbour Saithalavi who had won the grand prize.

Saithalavi, 45, who hails from Panamaram in Wayanad district, is a kitchen helper at a restaurant located at Abu Hail in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Saithalavi had claimed that his friend had purchased the winning ticket for him last week.

Saithalavi said he came to know about the jackpot-winning number after the draw on Sunday.

Saithalvi said he had paid his Kozhikode-based friend Rs 300 via GooglePay to buy the ticket.

It was bought a week ahead of the draw by the lotteries department on Sunday. Subsequently, the friend sent a picture of the ticket via Whatsapp.

He added that his son and relatives would soon handover the ticket to the agency.

However, as the news of Jayapalan claiming the prize came, Saithalavi said he was cheated by some people. He said he was crestfallen hearing about the real winner.

Meanwhile, his friend Ahammed, who was reportedly the friend 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 would consider seeking legal action against those who duped Saithalavi.

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