Feel-good story of the week

It’s nice to see someone who really needs it, strike it lucky.

History is full of tales of penniless migrants who travelled to the big city to seek their fortune.

But few have enjoyed such immediate success as Mohijul Rahima Sheikh, an unemployed Bengali migrant who crossed India in search of a menial job to help feed his young family, only to win £100,000 [at current exchange rates, about US $141,000] in the state lottery three days later.

The 22-year-old arrived in Kerala last Friday to start a low-paid construction job. That evening, taking pity on a disabled lottery vendor, he decided to buy a 50 rupees (50 pence) “Karunya’’ lottery ticket.

On Monday, when the draw results were announced in local newspapers, Mr Sheikh went through every copy he could find to check and double-check that he had won.

Eventually satisfied that he had, but with banks closed for a public holiday preventing him from cashing in his ticket, Mr Sheikh began to fear other migrant workers might target him for his winnings.

He quickly headed for the nearby Chevayur police station, where he begged to be allowed to sleep for the night.

With a police escort, Mr Sheikh visited the local Vellimadukunnu branch of the State Bank of India on Tuesday morning, where he opened a bank account and submitted his winning ticket.

There’s more at the link.

That’s probably a lifetime’s earnings (literally) for several of his family combined, given India’s poverty levels for people of his class.  I hope he’s on his guard against all the ‘friends’ and ‘advisors’ who are going to come out of the woodwork in an attempt to help themselves to his good fortune.



  1. I know my company pays my "job-equivalent" in India 500K rupees per year, which works out to about $7500 and is considered to be an upper-middle class income there, so to win $140K is huge. Definitely a feel-good story here.

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