MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / 22 Jan) – A Filipino mother has won $1 million from a raffle promotion by the Qatar Duty Free Shop, a subsidiary of Qatar Airways, the Arab News reported on Monday.
It said Otessa Carbonell Schiapparelli, a mother of an 11-year-old girl and a resident of the southwestern Philippine province of Palawan, was declared the lucky winner of the draw last month, but she flew to the Qatari capital of Doha only last week to claim her check.
Schiapparelli was ecstatic as she received the check from Krishna Kumari, Qatar Duty Free deputy general manager, in a special ceremony.
She said she bought her winning ticket before boarding Qatar Airways’ Flight QR644 from Doha to Manila last year.
Thousands of Filipino passengers pass through Doha International Airport every week, including the passengers of Qatar Airways flights connecting Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam in Saudi Arabia to Manila and Cebu in the Philippines.
It was unknown whether Schiapparelli was a contract worker or tourist just passing through Doha.
Just before Christmas last month, she received a telephone call from Kumari after the draw at the Doha International Airport and could not believe what she heard. “I was in total shock, it was just amazing to receive such wonderful news,” she said.
The US Dollar Millionaire raffle draw was launched in summer to replace the highly successful three-year old 1 million Qatari riyals ($280,000) raffle draw promotion.
Akbar Al Baker, Duty Free and Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, said the new millionaire raffle promotion gives contestants high winning chances since each draw is done after 5,000 tickets are sold.
Departing and transiting passengers at Doha International Airport can purchase raffle tickets.
Al Baker said the raffle draw has become a “huge success” because it gives participants a big chance to become instant millionaires. “Congratulations go out to Otessa for being our very first dollar millionaire,” said Al Baker. (With a report from the Arab News, Qatari News Agency)