International lotteries such as the US Powerball, Mega Millions, EuroMillions, EuroJackpot, Mega-Sena, and the likes have changed the lives of many, including their Indian patrons. This article is dedicated to listing the top 17 international lottery winners from India who have landed wins so epic they would inspire you to try your luck too.
|Pos||Indian Winners||Prize Money||Prize in INR||Lottery||Year|
|1||Sandeep ‘Sunny’ Singh||$30.5 Million||₹227.8 Crore||Mega Millions||2012|
|2||Krishna Barri||$14.5 Million||₹108.3 Crore||Florida Lottery||2018|
|3||Balraj Awasthi||$12.8 Million||₹95.6 Crore||Lotto 6/49||2017|
|4||Dsreenu Sreedharan Nair||₹28 Crores||₹28 Crore||Big Ticket||2019|
|5||Pragnesh Peter Saija||$7 Million||₹52.3 Crore||Daily Grand||2017|
|6||Abdussalam N.V||₹39 Crores||₹39 Crore||Big Ticket||2021|
|7||Vilas Rikkala||$4 Million||₹29.2 Crore||Big Ticket||2019|
|8||Harikrishnan V Nair||₹20.8 Crores||₹20.8 Crore||Big Ticket||2018|
|9||Tahir Ali||$2 Million||₹14.9 Crore||Ontario 49||2014|
|10||Nirmal Dhamodarasamy||$1 Million||₹7.5 Crore||US Powerball||2016|
|11||Ushakiran Patel||$1 Million||₹7.5 Crore||US Powerball||2018|
|12||A.K Mohammad Basheer||$1 Million||₹7.5 Crore||Dubai Duty-Free||2016|
|13||Lingaraju D||$514,000||₹3.8 Crore||Mega Millions||2020|
|14||Prasanth Parasuraman||286000||₹2.1 Crores||Lotto 6/49||2017|
|15||Partho Mondal||₹52.8 Lakhs||₹52.8 Lakh||Malamaal Daily||2020|
|16||Unnamed Indian Syndicate Winner||€50,000||₹42.6 Lakh||Spanish Lotería de Navidad||2019|
|17||C.J||€32161||₹27.4 Lakh||Austria Lotto||2018|
Last but not least, an honorable mention of an Indian who isn’t really Indian since he’s from the West Indies. Though his win was craaaaaaaaaaaazy!
|Non Indian Winner||Prize Money||Prize in INR||Lottery||Year|
|Nandlal Mangal||$245.6 Million||₹1834.1 Crore||US Powerball||2018|
1. Sandeep ‘Sunny’ Singh – $30.5 Million (₹227.8 Crore) Mega Millions Jackpot
In October 2012, just two weeks after his girlfriend dumped him, 22-year-old Best Buy employee Sandeep Singh ended up hitting the $61 million (455.5 Crore) jackpot in Mega Millions.
Sandeep, who goes by his pet name ‘Sunny’ was living in California and juggling two jobs to make ends meet when the love of his life left him in the lurch. However, a $4 win off a scratchcard game led him to purchase four entries into the international lottery. The rest they say is history.
Mr. Singh shared the prize with another winner and eventually received $30.5 million (₹227.8 Crores), thus etching his name among the youngest lottery winners of Indian origin. He was reported wishing to donate part of his winnings to charity and spend another part in paying off a debt on his mother’s house.
2. Krishna Barri – $14.5 Million (₹108.3 Crore) Florida Lottery Jackpot
Krisha Barri is an Indian American from Tampa Florida who won the $14.5 million (₹108.3 Crore) jackpot in Florida Lottery in 2018. Now, what would you do if you were to win a prize so huge? Buy a house? Invest in mutual funds? Go on a vacation? Live a sinfully luxurious life for the rest of your days?
Well, Mr. Barri chose a different plan altogether. He wished to use part of his winnings to support the education of at least 100 underprivileged kids in India.
He also planned to set up a trust in the name of his deceased brother-in-law, who had once financially supported him when he wanted to pursue higher studies in Florida. Now, that’s truly inspiring, isn’t it?
3. Balraj Awasthi – $12.8 Million (₹95.6 Crore) Lotto 6/49 Jackpot
On 4th February 2017, Balraj Awasthi, a Canada-based chef with Indian roots scooped $12,855,935 when he hit the jackpot in Lotto 6/49. As part of his plan for the windfall, he wished to make his lifelong dream of owning a business come true.
“I have worked as a chef most of my life, standing for long hours. Now, I can take it easy”Balraj was reported saying.
Alongside, Mr. Awasthi also expressed his desire to travel the world and tick his favorite destinations in Europe and Australia off his bucket list. “This prize is life-changing. Winning the lottery gives me the freedom to dream big,” an excited Balraj was heard gushing.
4. Dsreenu Sreedharan Nair – ₹28 Crore Big Ticket Jackpot
Unlike most of our other listed lottery winners who won the lottery individually, Dsreenu Sreedharanthere is one of numerous lottery syndicate winners from India who often go unmentioned. Along with his 21 co-workers, this guy won the Big Ticket lottery at the 209th draw at Abu Dhabi International Airport and bagged a jackpot of ₹28 Crore (AED 15 million).
A resident of Chengannur, Kerala and a technical worker by profession, Mr. Nair won the lottery on 3rd November 2019. His winning ticket was 098165, which he had bought for Dh25 of the total cost of Dh500. After the prize money was distributed, each winner got over $185,000, which roughly calculates to ₹1.35 crore.
Nair believes the money will go a long way to improve his life.
“My mobile has been ringing constantly. I have not had time to think as to what I will do with all this money. I was building a house in Alleppey, Kerala and that was stopped as I did not have money to fund it. I will complete it now. I will definitely save quite a bit”he was reported stating
Also read: Lottery Syndicate: Top 25 Questions Answered
5. Pragnesh Peter Saija – $7 Million (₹52.3 Crore) Daily Grand Jackpot
Being a Canadian of Indian origin, Pragnesh Peter Saija was all smiles after winning a whopping $7 million in the Daily Grand lottery off a ticket he purchased from a local store. His win closely followed that of Balraj Awasthi and happened on 6th February 2017. Pragnesh used the money to fulfill his dream of buying his first family home.
While picking up his Big Cheque at the OLG Prize Center in Toronto, the elated lottery winner was reported describing the features of his dream home: a swimming pool, home theater, five bedrooms, and two new vehicles parked in the driveway.
“This win means an even brighter future for our children. They can study wherever they want, whatever they choose, knowing that they will be well taken care of for the rest of their lives. This prize is the absolute best birthday gift I could imagine”Pragnesh was reported saying
6. Abdussalam N.V – ₹39 Crore Big Ticket Jackpot
In January 2021, Abdussalam N.V won the ₹39 Crore (AED 20 million) jackpot in the Big Ticket lottery, thus etching his name among India’s biggest-ever lottery winners. A native of Kozhikode, Kerala, Abdussalam was running a shopping center in Muscat, Oman when he hit the jackpot.
Initially, the organizers of the lottery had a hard time locating him as he had mistakenly put his Indian telephone code instead of the one meant for Oman. It was only after they approached community members to reach out to him that they were able to track him down and break the good news.
7. Vilas Rikkala – $4 Million (₹29.2 Crore) Big Ticket Prize
An Indian farmer from Telangana, Vilas Rikkala visited Dubai in 2014 in search of work but came back with a big win of $4 million (approximately ₹29.2 crore) in the UAE’s Big Ticket draw in 2019.
Interestingly, Vilas had borrowed ₹20K from his wife to buy tickets to the lottery. When asked what he would do with all the prize money, he simply replied that he wants to celebrate the win with his family.
8. Harikrishnan V Nair – ₹20.8 Crores Big Ticket Jackpot
A Dubai-based business development manager, Harikrishnan V Nair won a whopping $3.2 million (₹20.8 crores) in the Big Ticket lottery at Abu Dhabi International Airport in January 2018.
He won this prize money off his third ticket which he bought in December 2017. A resident of Alleppey, Kerala, Harikrishnan initially thought it was a prank played by his wife because she always thought of lottery tickets as a waste of money.
The happy winner was reported gushing “the best thing that happened, apart from winning, is that I got to reconnect with a lot of my old friends. Not being there on social media, I thought I had lost many contacts but friends, scattered in countries like Ireland, USA, UAE, etc, got in touch with me after a very long time.”
Attributing the win to God’s will, he said that he wants to fly down to his hometown in India and visit his mother. Regarding the money, his plans were to finance his son’s education and indulge in charity.
Harikrishnan further had something very special to say to all lotto players:
“One thing I’d like to convey to the others is that the whole idea is to participate and to not worry too much even if you don’t win.”
9. Tahir Ali – $2 Million (₹14.9 Crore) Ontario 49 Jackpot
Among the many success stories about Canadian-Indians winning the lottery, Tahir Ali’s story stands out and how! An occasional Mississauga lottery player, Mr. Ali had played Ontario 49 for the first time and won the $2-million jackpot.
On 11th June 2014, he had bought a ticket to the draw at Hasty Market on Britannia Rd. after listening to a radio ad for the same.
“I went to the store to check if my ticket had won and saw ‘Big Winner’ on the self-checker. I thought it was an advertisement, so I went home. The next day I checked the numbers online at work and realized that I had won the jackpot”said an elated Ali.
An emigrant who came to Canada 7 years before he won the lottery, Tahir Ali wished to use part of his winnings to help his children. He further added that he would make sure they continue to work hard, but would finance their education.
10. Nirmal Dhamodarasamy – $1 Million (₹7.5 Crore) US Powerball Prize
A graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Nirmal Dhamodarasamy was only 23 years old when he hit $1,000,000 in the US Powerball in February 2016. Before the big win, he was a regular lottery player, but always chose the conventional way of purchasing tickets at a local store.
However, just 2 weeks before he won the lottery, Nirmal had decided to try his luck in lotteries online. He had bought a Powerball subscription via the Illinois Lottery’s online sales channel as he found it very convenient to sign up and make the purchase.
Soon after, he won $1 million when he matched the five Main Numbers – 04, 13, 31, 36, 52. Unfortunately, he missed on the Powerball number 08, which would have given him the lottery’s grand prize. Interestingly, he selected his winning numbers via the site’s Quick Pick feature. He was later notified about his win via email.
At the time, Nirmal Dhamodarasamy was pursuing a master’s degree in industrial engineering. His plan for the windfall was to bring his parents to Chicago for his graduation ceremony.
11. Ushakiran Patel – $1 Million (₹7.5 Crore) US Powerball Prize
Of all stories about international lottery winners from India, Ushakiran Patel’s is perhaps the most popular and celebrated. In March 2018, this sixty-two-year-old retiree won a $1 million (₹7.5 Crore ) prize in the US Powerball by matching the five main numbers: 06, 13, 19, 36, and 51.
Her story is inspiring because it is a classic case of ‘the luck of the draw’ where a player unaccustomed to the game picks random numbers and lands a win. Mrs. Patel was initially unsure about what she would do with the prize money but knew it would provide her with financial security in the upcoming years as a retiree.
After all applicable tax deductions, the final prize money came down to $633,040 (₹4.7 Crore). A lot of tax! However, isn’t that still a great ROI given that she invested only ₹300 in purchasing the lottery ticket?
12. A.K. Mohammad Basheer – $1 Million (₹7.5 Crore) Dubai Duty-Free Jackpot
Dubai Duty-Free jackpot winner A.K. Mohammad Basheer’s story is beyond intriguing. In 2016, after cheating death and miraculously surviving the Emirates EK521 crash, he became a millionaire the next day when he hit the jackpot of $1 Million (₹7.5 Crore).
Basheer had bought the lottery ticket on the holy occasion of Eid when he was vacating in Kerala with his family.
“I have been working in Dubai for 37 years, and I have always felt like this is my country. I live a simple life, and now that it’s my time to retire, I feel like God gave me a second life when I survived the plane crash, and blessed me with this money to follow all this up by doing good things”Basheer was reported saying
Talk about being lucky!
13. Lingaraju D – $514,000 (₹3.8 Crore) Mega Millions Prize
Non-resident Indians becoming lottery winners is old news. Lingaraju D from Bengaluru changed the entire narrative about international lottery winners in India by landing a win of half a million Dollars in Mega Millions via the popular lottery site Lotto247.
A 68-year-old retired health inspector and a regular lottery player at Lotto247, Lingaraju matched 5 out of 6 numbers in the world lotto and won $514,000 (approximately ₹3.8 Crores) on 5th June 2020. It took him hours to realize he had actually become a Corerepati overnight!
Part of his plan for the windfall was to buy a new house and pay off his daughters’ home loans. He wanted to keep aside another part of the money for his relatives who were badly in need, and the rest for his future.
The winning numbers for the draw were 1, 5, 9, 10, 22 and 23 of which Lingaraju D had matched the first 5. Had he matched the 6th Mega Ball number (23), he would have hit the jackpot of $351 million.
14. Prasanth Parasuraman – $286,000 (₹2.1 Crores) Lotto 6/49 Prize
On January 14th, 2017, 26-year-old Prasanth Parasuraman residing in Concord, Canada struck gold when he won the second prize of $286,000 (₹2.1 Crores) in Lotto 6/49. A regular lotto player, Prasanth was under the impression that he had won only $286.
It was only when the retailer of the store from where he purchased his ticket informed him about the big win that he came to know about the huge prize money. He was also told that he would receive a call from the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation.
Prasanth shared the news with his parents, who shed tears of happiness while hugging him. His dad even enquired when his next trip to India would be. Part of his plan to spend the prize money was to put down a downpayment for a house. He also wished to vacay in Jamaica or Mexico.
“I am a chef and I would definitely like to open my own restaurant or food truck when the time comes. This prize will help me with that dream. Winning the lottery feels amazing,”Said Prasanth, who was super excited for what the future had in store.
15. Partho Mondal – ₹53 Lakh in Lottoland’s Malamaal Daily
Indian lotto players would know that the leading lotto betting site Lottoland hosts exclusive draws, which include the popular Malamaal Daily. In November 2020, the operator announced its first-ever Lakhpati – Partho Mondal from Malda, West Bengal.
As a customer service representative for international firms, Mr. Mondal bagged a whopping ₹53 Lakh by picking 5 random numbers – 03, 05, 14, 30, and 31. Lottoland celebrated the win by tweeting about it.
Part of Partho’s plan for the windfall included paying off his debts and helping out family and friends. According to him, Malamaal Daily is cheap to enter and runs every day – the primary reason he likes playing it. Indeed, a ticket to this lottery costs just a measly ₹40!
16. Unnamed Indian Syndicate Winner – €50,000 (₹37.3 Lakh) Spanish Lotería de Navidad Prize
On 22nd December 2019, a syndicate of 9 players won €50,000 each in the Spanish Lotería de Navidad lottery on theLotter. Each of them had a one-tenth ticket share and belonged to the following countries: Austria, Azerbaijan, Germany, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Reunion, U.K., and Ukraine.
All the winners, including the Indian, chose to remain anonymous, which is why we don’t know his name or what he did with the lottery winnings. But, the point is you could also be the next big winner!
17. C.J – €32,161 (₹24 Lakh) Austria Lotto Prize
Another lottery winner in India who chose to stay anonymous about their windfall is C.J. In November 2018, this Indian won the second prize of €32,161 in Austria Lotto through the global lottery website theLotter.
With the winning numbers being 20, 25, 29, 32, 37, 44, and 25, he had managed to guess 5 out of 6 numbers correctly. As claimed by the site, he would have hit the jackpot if he had chosen 25 instead of 43 for the last bonus number.
C.J plays a lottery every day and particularly enjoys playing the Austria Lotto, Australia Saturday Lotto, NZ Powerball Lotto, and BonoLoto.
While he had no plans of what to do with his newfound wealth, he believed it would give him a chance to dream and improve his living situation. C.J further added that he would continue playing lotteries on theLotter.
BONUS! Nandlal Mangal – $245.6 Million (₹1834.1 Crore) US Powerball Jackpot
Nandlal Mangal is not an Indian per se, but a lottery winner whose story still deserves a mention on this listicle. He’s a West Indian with Caribbean roots living in New York. At the time, this 42-year-old, Staten Island resident was the sole winner of the 2018 August 11 drawing in the US Powerball.
We decided to keep him on the list because he is among those who play the lottery using their wisdom. Nandlal purchased international lottery tickets only when the jackpots reached $100 million. In fact, he was grocery shopping when he came to know the jackpot of the particular Powerball draw was rolling big.
Subsequently, he snagged a $6 Quick Pick ticket and left it on his kitchen table for a week. The win came as a surprise when he later checked the Powerball website. Nandlal Mangal claimed his prize in the form of a lump sum as a trust (The Sea & Sand Trust). He received $99,321,975 (₹741.8 Crores) after taxes.
His plan for the windfall was to just “relax and see where it goes from there.” But the happy winner did want to use a portion of the prize money to travel the world and Hawaii in particular. It’s interesting to note that Mr. Mangal was the 91st lottery player in New York to bag a prize of $1 million or more in 2018.
Most lottery players choose to stay anonymous when they win. So, you’d never know how many Indians really won world lotteries. However, the above list is proof enough that there are no rules to luck. If you believe strongly enough, it would smile upon you. And then, we live in a digital world where anyone from anywhere can try their luck.