Dubai plane crash survivor hits $1.3m airport jackpot

Indian national Mohammad Basheer Abdul Khadar was returning to Dubai from a holiday when the plane in which he was travelling caught fire on landing. Barely a week later, he found out that the airport lottery ticket he had bought on the way to India
Indian national Mohammad Basheer Abdul Khadar was returning to Dubai from a holiday when the plane in which he was travelling caught fire on landing. Barely a week later, he found out that the airport lottery ticket he had bought on the way to India had won US$1 million.PHOTO: GULF NEWS

DUBAI • Mr Mohammad Basheer Abdul Khadar thanked his lucky stars after surviving last week's crash landing at the Dubai airport.

Then, he found that he had more to be thankful for: He had just become a millionaire.

The Indian national, who lives in Dubai, 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 a holiday with family in India when the Boeing 777-300 in which he was travelling caught fire on landing with 300 people on board.

The accident on Aug 3 shut down the busiest airport in the Middle East for several hours, forcing the authorities to cancel hundreds of flights. All the passengers and crew escaped unharmed, but a firefighter died tackling the blaze.

Then barely a week later, Mr Khadar discovered that the lottery ticket he had bought on the way to India was now worth US$1 million.

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

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 is 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.

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

Mr Khadar said he was planning to retire in Kerala and would use the money to help children there who need financial support.

He said that 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.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2016, with the headline 'Dubai plane crash survivor hits $1.3m airport jackpot'. Print Edition | Subscribe