QATAR. Qatar Duty Free, a subsidiary of Qatar Airways, has announced the latest winner of its US$1 million bumper raffle – its biggest ever prize.

Roopesh Kumar Kidavunil, from India, bought his winning ticket en route to his home state of Kerala to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.

Qatar Duty Free Vice President Krishna Kumari (third from left) announcing the winner of the US$1 million raffle draw

“This has really taken us by surprise,” said 31 year-old Roopesh, on learning of the win following the draw ceremony at Doha International Airport. He becomes Qatar Duty Free’s third US dollar millionaire.

Married with a four-month-old son, Roopesh lives in Doha and works for Qatar Petroleum. He said the news had brought “great joy” to his family. The Kidavunil family has lived in the Qatari capital for three years.
“What a great prize and a double celebration for my baby son and the family,” he added. When asked what he planned to do with his prize money, Roopesh said his priority would be to support his family.

Launched in May 2006, the US dollar millionaire raffle is drawn after 5,000 tickets are sold, giving passengers a good opportunity to win the bumper prize. Departing and transiting passengers at Doha International Airport can purchase raffle tickets, which are priced at QAR950 (US$260).

Qatar Duty Free Vice President Krishna Kumari (who is leaving the company next month) said: “Our congratulations go out to Mr Kidavunil and his wife – and what a great birthday gift for his new-born son.

“Qatar Duty Free has enjoyed tremendous success since launching the Qatar Riyal Millionaire Draw five years ago,” she said. “Since we upgraded to a bigger prize last year offering one million dollars, the response from the travelling public has been fantastic and now we welcome our third US dollar millionaire in what has proved an exciting and highly popular draw.”

Qatar Duty Free has been enjoying significant year-on-year growth, boosted by an amplified presence in the Departures and Arrivals area at Doha International Airport, the operational hub of Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways operates a fleet of 62 Boeing and Airbus aircraft to 83 cities across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Asia Pacific and North America. The airline currently has outstanding orders for more than 200 aircraft, worth a total of more than US$30 billion.

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