Thiruvananthapuram: It was five days ago that auto-driver Anoop's life changed when the ticket TJ-750605 that he had purchased using Rs 50 from his son's piggy bank won the Kerala government's Rs 25 crore Thiruvonam Bumper lottery.
The Sreevaraham native, who had plans to leave for Malaysia to put an end to the financial difficulties plaguing his family, was thrilled at the victory and for the chance to remain home with his dear ones.
Little did he know that his home would soon be besieged by people seeking help.
The lottery win will see Anoop net Rs 15.75 crore after all the tax deductions.
Now, people, even from as far as Kannur, are descending on Anoop's house in Thiruvananthapuram requesting him to pay them some money.
"I have not received the money. Everyone should understand this," Anoop took to social media to plead to those knocking on his door to stay away.
"We are feeling trapped inside our own house. We can't go out or go anywhere, not even with a mask. People storm us everywhere we go. It has become so dire that we are considering shifting to a different house," he said.
Anoop, who had not been able to go to work for the past many months on account of breathing difficulties, insists that even if he gets the money, he is likely to only put that as a fixed deposit.
"I'm a simple man. I don't know the way the taxes work or how to manage money. I can only go by the advice of professionals. For now, I have decided to put that as a fixed deposit," Anoop said.
"I don't care who is annoyed with my decision," Anoop added.
This cautionary tale was even advised by Jayapalan, the former winner of the lottery shortly after the announcement of this year's winner.
Jayapalan, also an auto-driver, warned that Anoop will be stormed by people asking for help. "Find a way to ensure your family is secure. Many people will come seeking help. It is not easy to help everyone," Jayapalan had said. He had also warned that even relatives would turn enemies.
Jayapalan suggested that Anoop should go for a fixed deposit. "Go for a fixed deposit for at least two years and live a modest life," said the Maradu-native who won Rs 12 crore from the lottery last Onam.
Jayapalan continues to ride his three-wheeler despite being a millionaire.
"I was very happy when I won the victory, but the events of the past few days have left a sour taste," a frustrated Anoop said.
"I wish I had not won the lottery. Maybe a third prize would have sufficed," he added.
In the video posted on Facebook, Anoop also points out that his family had been unable to take his sick son to the hospital fearing that they would be harassed.
"My son is sick. I can't even take him to the hospital," Anoop said. Even while Anoop was recording the video, people could be heard rocking the chain on his house gate.