Express News Service
KOCHI: Winning the Onam jackpot of Rs 12 crore in 2021 was a life-changing experience for Maradu resident PR Jayapalan, 58, earning him fame as well as death threats.
However, it did not change his lifestyle.
A year on, Jayapalan still drives the autorickshaw as he did before he became a crorepati in September 2021. He lives in the same house and owns the autorickshaw and car that he bought on loan.
“The biggest change was money management,” said Jayapalan, who believes a simple lifestyle is best for survival. After-tax deduction of 37 per cent, Rs 7.48 crore was credited to Jayapalan’s account.
“Recently, another Rs 1.47 crore were deducted as ‘surcharge and cess’. So, the final amount is Rs 6 crore. Most of it is in bank as fixed deposit,” he said.
Jayapalan said he purchased five cents of land in Pachalam and six cents of land in Tripunithura.
He is all set to buy 4.5 acres of paddy field where he plans to carry out shrimp farming.
He also cleared his debt of Rs 9 lakh.
“People came from across the state seeking money as charity after news of my luck broke. I even got two death threats,” Jayapalan recalled.
“However, I do not splurge. I still help people I know. I also give Rs 20,000 every month to an NGO to help people buy medicines,” Jayapalan said.
He said he had purchased the winning ticket from Meenakshi Lotteries in Tripunithura.
“I had bought a normal ticket from another lottery shop and won Rs 5,000. However, when I went to the shop to get the money, the man there demanded Rs 250 as commission. I refused and went to Meenakshi Lotteries instead and got the entire amount. From that, I bought the Onam bumper ticket,” he said.
He said he selected the OS series ticket ending in 645 as that was the number assigned to his case related to property dispute in court. It proved lucky.
Jayapalan’s good fortune continued even after winning. Soon after, his younger son Vishnu got admission in Kozhikode Medical College for MBBS and his daughter-in-law secured a permanent job in India Post. People’s attitude towards him changed too, he said.
“The mask I wear owing to Covid prevents people from recognising me. They hire my autorickshaw without knowing who I am and ask about the ‘driver who won’ and how he spent his money. Also, when we went to any function, we paid Rs 100 as gift earlier. Now, people expect more,” he said.
Jayapalan has bought this year’s Onam bumper lottery having Rs 25 crore as the top prize. The draw will be held on Sunday. However, he does not expect to win again.
“I don’t think I will win the Onam bumper again. This time, I bought the ticket from Alappuzha. I don’t buy them in bulk, just one or two,” he said.
Meanwhile, things have definitely changed for Meenakshi Lotteries post-Jayapalan’s win. People are thronging the shop with hopes that a ticket from there will bring them the same good fortune.
“We have sold 13,000 Onam bumper tickets from the Tripunithura shop this time. We have 40 shops across the state and have sold 3 lakh tickets. Other than last year’s Onam bumper, two tickets sold from here hit the jackpot,” said a salesperson from the Tripunithura outlet.