Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker (second right) and a Duty Free official holding a ceremonial prize cheque awarded to the $1m winner.
Doha: Gopalan Nair Babugopal became the winner of Qatar Duty Free’s $1m prize in the first raffle draw of the new year. Shibin Shasidharan was declared the winner of Lexus LX 570.
The draw was held in the Qatar Duty Free retail shopping area at Doha International Airport.
“This is the first time that I have ever won anything. I always buy raffle tickets because I believe in taking chances — looks like it finally paid off,” said Nair.
The 44 year-old safety officer from Thiruvananthapuram, India, works on a project basis. After 20 years of working in Dubai, he had been transferred to Qatar on a one-year stint for a new project, and it was during this time that he bought the winning raffle ticket.
His wife Rupa Kurup was thrilled with the news and couldn’t contain her excitement: “This is due to the luck of our children and will help secure their futures,” she said.
Nair is in India with his wife, 13-year-old daughter Vaishnavi and 12-year-old son Vaishnav, before he returns to Qatar to start work on another project in March.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker congratulated the winners, saying: “I would like to extend a big congratulations to both Mr Nair and Mr Sasidharan on starting 2013 in such an exciting way. Qatar Duty Free has a long history of creating exciting moments for passengers entering the millionaire and luxury car draws.”
The US Dollar Millionaire raffle was launched in May 2006, giving passengers a great opportunity to win the bumper prize as each draw is made after the 5,000 tickets are sold.
Departing and transiting passengers at Doha International Airport have the option to purchase raffle tickets on site or online at Qatar Duty Free’s website www.qatarardutyfree.com.qa, providing them with more flexibility. The raffle is open to anyone worldwide who wishes to try their luck.
Tickets for the $1m cash raffle can be purchased for $263 or QR950 each, and luxury car draw tickets can also be purchased from Qatar Duty Free.
Qatar Duty Free operates within the Departures, Arrivals, VIP and the Premium Terminal of Doha International Airport. It also operates an outlet at the Oryx Rotana Hotel in Doha and the Doha Port for a growing number of passengers arriving and departing Qatar by sea.
With the New Doha International Airport set to open in 2013, the Qatar Duty Free team is already working on creating over 25,000sqm of world class retail space, which will include exclusive branded boutiques and products to cater to passengers from all walks of life.