11 waste collectors in India win $1.6 million after pooling $4 for lottery ticket
Eleven sanitation workers in the southern Indian state of Kerala have won the top prize of 100 million rupees (S$1.6 million) after raising 250 rupees (S$4) to buy a lottery ticket, Indian media reported on Friday.
Nine of the women chipped in 25 rupees each, while two others contributed 12.50 apiece.
The 11 women are from the city of Malappuram, about 360km north of Kerala’s state capital, Thiruvananthapuram.
They include Ms P Parvathy, who said they had harboured no specific hope of winning because this was the fourth such ticket they had purchased, also by pooling money together.
On Wednesday, it was announced that the winning ticket for the Kerala lottery had been sold by an agency in Palakkad, around 80km east of Malappuram.
Ms Parvathy and her group thought they had suffered another loss. But upon returning home from work, her son said someone had called to say the ticket they bought had won the top prize.
The women have been collecting non-biodegradable waste from homes and establishments to make a living over the past 2½ years, the Times of India news website reported.
The women said they would use their winnings to build houses, pay for their children’s education and clear their debts.
They added they are sticking to their jobs, noting that their victory was possible only because they worked together.