Dubai plane crash survivor hits $1 million jackpot

The Emirates Boeing 777-300 sits at Dubai airport after being gutted by fire due to a mechanical failure on Aug 3, 2016.
The Emirates Boeing 777-300 sits at Dubai airport after being gutted by fire due to a mechanical failure on Aug 3, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

DUBAI (AFP) - It's been an eventful few days for Mohammad Basheer Abdul Khadar, an Indian living in Dubai.

In the space of a week, he survived a crash landing at Dubai airport then won US$1 million (S$1.3 million) in a lottery organised by the airport's duty free operator, Gulf News reported.

The 62-year-old was flying home from holidays with family in India when the Boeing 777 in which he was travelling caught fire on landing with 300 people on board.

The accident on Thursday shut down the Middle East's busiest airport for several hours, forcing authorities to cancel hundreds of flights. All the passengers and crew escaped unharmed, but a firefighter died tackling the blaze.

Just six days later, Khadar discovered that the lottery ticket he'd bought on the way to India was now worth US$1 million.

A fleet administrator with a Dubai car dealership, Khadar told Gulf News he habitually bought a lottery ticket on his way to visit family in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

Ticket number 845 in the "Millenium Millionaire" draw at the airport's Dubai Duty Free proved to be his winning shot.

"I live a simple life, and now that it's my time to retire, 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," he told Gulf News.

Khadar has lived in Dubai for 37 years and is married with two children, one of whom is paralysed after a fall early on in his childhood, reported Gulf News.

Khadar told Gulf News he was planning to return to Kerala to retire and would use the money to help children in Kerala who need financial support.

He said he earns around US$2,200 a month, and would continue to work as long as he could.

"Nothing else can give you the satisfaction of your hard-earned money," he said.