Kerala man who won lottery wishes he didn't

Autorickshaw driver Anoop B (left) whooped with delight when he won the Rs25 crore ($4.4 million) Kerala government's mega Onam lottery on Sept 18.

But he regretted his windfall five days later. He wrote on Facebook: "I have lost all peace of mind and I can't even stay in my own home as I am besieged with people who come calling to ask me for help.

"I now keep moving as I have lost the peace that I enjoyed before winning the prize."

Mr Anoop, who was planning to go to Malaysia to work as a chef, lives with his wife, child and mother in Sreevaraham in Kerala's capital city Thiruvananthapuram.

The 32-year-old purchased the winning ticket from a local lottery ticket seller after breaking open his child's small savings box.

After deduction of tax and other dues, he was able to take home Rs15 crore.

Soon after he was declared the winner, photos of Mr Anoop and his wife Maya happily displaying the winning ticket went viral.

"Now I really wish I did not win it. I enjoyed the feeling of being a winner for a day or two with all the publicity," he said.

"But now this has become a nuisance and I can't even step outside."

"People are after me for help. I even got a call offering the lead role in a Malayalam movie if I paid Rs2 crore.

"I have to keep moving. I stayed at my relative's house but somehow people found the place. Now I can't even take my unwell child to hospital as people are coming and seeking help."

Mr Anoop is using social media to tell people to leave him alone.

"I have not decided what to do with the money. For now, I will put it all in the bank for two years," he said.

"It would have been better had I won a smaller amount."

Mr Anoop, who has been buying lottery tickets for the last 22 years, previously won amounts ranging from Rs200 to Rs5,000.

He is upset that some friends have also turned bitter towards him.

"My neighbours are angry as people who come looking for me hang around in the neighbourhood," he said.

"Even when I go out wearing a mask, people identify me and crowd around me. All my peace is gone."

Netizens have flooded Mr Anoop with sympathy and advice. Some have advised him to move elsewhere and lie low for the time being. Others want him to keep a level head and invest the money safely.

Indo-Asian News Service

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