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Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002

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Online lakhpathi

Narendra Kumar, who hit the jackpot in the online Sikkim Lottery is the first winner from Tamil Nadu. In a chat, he traces his steps to success...

LADY LUCK has always been a mystery. Narendra Kumar, who seemed to know the idiosyncrasies of Lady Luck, was at last in her good books.

Kumar was playing the online Sikkim Thunderball Lottery irregularly for the last two months. But his half-hearted attempts at making it rich has paid off. In the 11th draw of the Sikkim Thunderball Lottery, run on behalf of the Sikkim Government by Playwin Infravest Ltd., one person from each of these places — Tiruchy, Bangalore, Mumbai and Calcutta — won the jackpot prize. The lucky man from Tiruchy, Narendra Kumar, has overnight become richer by Rs. 39.11 lakhs.

The fact that he failed to pocket the mind-boggling sum of Rs. 1.56 crores by a single number rankles in his heart. "I find it difficult to come to terms with that miss," says Narendra, who is running a ready-made garments business in Tiruchy. "I would use the money to develop my business," says the lakhpathi.

Ordinary men pocketing extraordinary amounts just like that, is certainly a wonder and Playwin Infravest Ltd is cashing in on that factor by providing Narendra Kumar visibility. The PR line would be: "Behold the first jackpot prize winner from Tamil Nadu."

The Chief Executive Officer of Playwin Infravest Ltd., Sanjay Das says that in Kerala the number of Playwin terminals shot up from 200 to 800 after news spread that there were three jackpot winners from the State. Similarly, Narendra Kumar's lucky haul is bound to generate wider interest in online lottery in Tamil Nadu.

Playwin, part of the Rs. 4,500 crore-Essel Group, has secured the fiat to run on-line lotteries in Karnataka and Maharashtra. For the record, Tamil Nadu has floated a tender inviting parties for running online lottery in the State.

"Online lottery is better than paper lottery in many ways. One, it is transparent. Two, 20 per cent of the ticket money would flow into the coffers of the State Exchequer, as against two per cent of the ticket money, in the case of paper lottery," says Das.

Playwin is pulling out all stops in winning shop-keepers over to think that there be would rich pickings if they installed terminals in their shops.

To be a retailer, one would have to invest 3.5 lakhs, which is refundable. An 8.5 interest on the sum would be remitted to his account.


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