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Beggar hits jackpot winning Rs 65 lakh lottery

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

Lady luck smiled on a 35-year-old physically-challenged beggar who had come to Kerala seeking "better pastures" from Andhra Pradesh with the man winning a prize money of Rs 65 lakh of a state-run lottery.

In a rags to riches story, Ponnaiyya, a migrant alm-seeker who was living in suburb Vellarada, won the jackpot of Rs 65 lakh in the state-run Akshaya lottery.

A regular punter of lotteries, he also won a series of consolation prizes to the tune of Rs 90,000 in the lots, drawn on Wednesday.

After being informed by police, his father and brother came here yesterday to take him home after completing the procedures of the transaction of the prize money.

The incident came close on the heels of a 22-year-old migrant worker from West Bengal had won Rs one crore Kerala government lottery last month.

Hailing from Ananthapur district of Andhra, Ponnaiyya, once a mason, had turned into begging to look after his wife and three children when he lost a leg in an accident.

According to Vellarada police, he used to beg in and around the suburb and sleep at a bus stand at Marthandam, located on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border.

He used to send money, collected through begging via a bank, to his family and would save some amount of money to take lottery tickets every month.

"It was the local lottery agent who sold him tickets realised that Ponnaiyya had won the first prize. The agent had tracked him and conveyed the happy and took him to the police station considering his safety," Sub Inspector D Shibu Kumar said.

The police also took him into the nearest branch of State Bank of India for further procedures, he said.

The official said Ponnaiyya is still at Vellarada and he would go back to the home state with his father and brother soon.

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First Published: Fri, April 01 2016. 14:42 IST