In a cruel twist of fate, a 25-year-old labourer who won a Rs 1 crore bumper lottery prize drowned in an irrigation pool before he could get the money.
Unni, who ekes out a modest living as a painter, was seen as a 'lucky' man when he won the prize in last month's draw of the Karunya Lottery of the Kerala government.
But as fate had it, he slipped into an irrigation pool and died before he could receive the prize money from the lottery department.
Members of his family said Unni had been under treatment for epilepsy and he could have fallen into the pool after suffering a bout of fits. The mishap occurred while he was watering vegetables grown in a small patch of land around his house near Pala town in Kottayam district on Monday.
A bachelor, Unni had dreamt of buying a farm plot out of the lottery prize and build a house for his parents and siblings to live, they said. He had deposited the lottery ticket with a local co-operative bank.
According to a lottery department official, the prize would be given to legal heirs on their producing proper documents to prove the relationship.