Kerala observed its 100th hartal in ten months on October 16. Though hartal day is quite painful for people especially for the economy, this Aluva native is not likely to agree.
Santhosh, 38, a lottery vendor was saddled with 40 tickets, costing ₹30 each on last hartal day as he couldn't venture out to sell it. The date of the draw was October 17, the next day of hartal.
He used to borrow lottery from the main agent and would pay the money in the evening after selling the tickets. On Tuesday evening, Santhosh went to the agent to inform that he got no money to pay for the tickets as they were not sold out.
"The agent told me that one of the tickets with me had won the first prize of ₹60 lakh. I couldn't believe my ears," Santhosh said.
He had won the first prize of Kerala government's Sthree Shakti Lottery. Having two children and an ailing wife, Santhosh is in dire need of money. He used to earn a living by repairing bicycles till kidney disease left him incapable of hard labour.
"I started selling lottery about four years ago. This is the first time I am winning anything more than the agent's commission for selling tickets that won a maximum amount of ₹5,000," he said.
Santhosh was getting ₹5 as agents commission for selling one ticket. After tax deductions, he will now get ₹37.8 lakh in prize and ₹5.4 lakh as agents commission.
He wants to spend the money to buy a small house, provide good education to his kids and better health care for himself and his wife. He also wants to set aside some amount for an emergency.
The winning ticket was deposited with Indian Overseas Bank, and Santhosh plans to continue with lottery sales.