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Beggar From Andhra Wins Kerala Jackpot

Five years ago, he came to Kerala from Andhra Pradesh following an accident, to survive as a beggar. On Thursday, he returned to his hometown Anantapur a rich man. Thirty-two-year-old Ponnaiah won the first prize of Rs. 65 lakh when lots were drawn on Wednesday in the State-run Akshaya lottery.

Ponnaiah, who used to do masonry work, lost a leg in a work-related accident. Unable to do anything, he came to Kerala and took to begging. He used to sleep at the Marthandam bus stand and regularly send home the money he collected.

According to the Vellarada police, Ponnaiah used to buy more than one ticket in a series to improve his chances of winning the lottery. This time, he had bought 10 tickets and hence he also won one of the small consolation prizes. The lottery agent on seeing the winning numbers realised that the tickets belonged to Ponnaiah. The agent tracked him down and took him to the Vellarada police station, considering his security. The police escorted him to the Parassala branch of the State Bank of India. But it turned out that only his wife had an account

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