Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
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When your luck is in, it’s really in.
News reaches us via Dubai Duty Free of an Indian traveller and shopper who hit not one, but two jackpots last week. One involved no cash but a far greater prize – his life.
Two numbers were involved. EK521 and 0845.
Mohammad Basheer Abdul Khadar will probably never forget the former – it was the flight number for his Emirates journey from Thiruvananthapuram in the south Indian state of Kerala to Dubai.
As has been widely documented in the UAE and world press, the Emirates flight crash landed at Dubai International before bursting into flames. Miraculously (and due to the magnificent efforts of airport firefighters and airline crew) all passengers survived (sadly, a firefighter perished).
Days later, Mr Khadar’s lucky ticket number 0845 in the Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire prize draw at Dubai International Airport Concourse A was drawn out of the barrel, winning him a cool US$1 million.
He told Gulf News: “I feel like God gave me a second life when I survived the plane crash, and blessed me with this money to follow all this up by doing good things. I value the escape as a more precious gift from God and I knew God saved me for some specific purpose. Probably this is it.”
When he retires in coming months, he wants to help children in Kerala who are in need. “I don’t want to give it to a charity or build a business, I want to go out and find people who really need help and give them money,” he told the newspaper. “I was poor, and I know what people go through.”
Khadar now earns AED8,000 (US$2,175) a month. However, much of his earnings down the years have been used to help treat his now 21-year-old son who was paralysed after an accident just 13 days after birth.
“I had to spend a lot of money on his treatment,” said Khadar. “Some years back I had to take a loan of AED99,000 (US$27,000) for a major surgery for him. I have managed to pay it back.”
What a nice story. But perhaps it was the goodness of Mohammad Basheer Abdul Khadar that was ultimately paid back.