DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Mohamed Basheer, a lucky man in his day, had recently survived the crash-landing of a 777 Boeing jet at Dubai’s International Airport.
Basheer considered himself lucky to be alive after the Emirates flight EK521 burst into flames as passengers escaped the jetliner at the world’s busiest airport.
But Basheer’s luck didn’t stop there when he won Dubai’s Duty Free Millennium Millionaire sweepstakes on Tuesday with a ticket he purchased on July 6, days before he boarded the doomed Emirates flight to head to India’s Kerala state and his hometown in Pallickal.
The sweepstakes called Basheer to tell him he had won: “I said, Don’t joke,” they replied “Yes, you are the winner.”
The 62-year-old Indian was at work when the call came through, he is employed at an auto-body repair shop in Dubai.
Bashmeer said the 1,000 dirham, or $270 ticket was his 17th attempt to try and win the lottery.
Sources say an investigation into flight EK521 appears the pilot may have made a last minute attempt to regain altitude, but at the last moment something went wrong and the passenger jet hit the ground and came to an abrupt stop.
After the crash, Basheer immediately went back to work – but on Tuesday he received the phone call that very well may change his life.
Basheer said he will continue working till retirement age and use the money to help his partially paralyzed son, grown daughter, grandchildren and wife. He plans on creating a program to assist the poor by teaching them useful work skills.