Lady luck smiles on labourer

Honesty pays

The stake was as high as Rs 40 lakh and a brand new, gleaming Innova car. But instead of claiming the prize himself, a lottery vendor here passed it to the migrant labourer who had “bought” the winning ticket without paying for it.

Pictorial representation only

Now, for his noble act and honesty, the Kerala government has decided to honour Peter, 46, whose family has eked out its living by selling lottery tickets for years.  

Speaking to reporters, Peter said he could have easily kept the winning ticket to himself and replaced it with one from the unsold ones since the migrant labourer, Murugan, from Tamil Nadu had “bought” it only on the promise that he would pay for it in the evening.

“Everyday Murugan comes to my shop in the morning and selects his lottery tickets. He returns in the evening and pays the money and takes possession of the tickets. Like on all other days, he came to my shop Friday and selected five Kerala Bhagya Nidhi Lottery tickets. The draw was to be held a few hours later. Since he did not pay the money, I kept his tickets with me, as I always do,”  Peter recalled.

A few hours later Peter’s agent rang him up and informed him that one of the tickets in his hold has won the bumper prize of Rs 40 lakh and an Innova car. “I soon started checking up with my clients, but none of them had the winning ticket. Then I remembered
I had five tickets of Murugan. When I checked, I found he not only won the first prize but another ticket of his had won a cash prize of Rs 10,000.

“No one would have known, not even Murugan, had I replaced the winning tickets with the other unsold tickets I had,” said Peter. On hearing about Peter’s honesty, state Finance Minister K M Mani Saturday morning paid him a visit at his shop and congratulated him on his honesty.

“This is something remarkable and Peter has shown to the world what honesty and integrity means. This is the best example of what honesty is,” Mani told reporters.
Sources close to Mani said the Kerala government has decided to honour Peter for his honesty.

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