She thought it was a prank

It was the first time Mrs Govindasamy Rajeswari had won anything at a lucky draw let alone the top prize, a Hyundai Sonata VIII. But when her name was announced as the winner, she was not there to collect her prize.

When emcee K.P. Sandhu called Mrs Govind on the phone and informed her of her prize, she did not believe him. She thought someone was playing a prank on her.

Only after K.P. reassured her and she heard the cheers from the hundreds of shoppers gathered around the stage while on speaker, did it dawn on her that she had indeed won a car.

She yelled with delight and promised to rush down to the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre where the four-day Singapore International Indian Shopping Festival (SIISFest) lucky draw was being conducted. She arrived within the hour, accompanied by one of her three daughters and her son-in-law.

She was still reeling from the shock as she received the prize. A crowd had gathered to catch a glimpse of the lucky winner who walked away with the new $70,000 car.

The very shy Mrs Govind, 66, a retired civil servant, had visited the SIISFest on three separate occasions from Sept 24 to 27. She had gone with her daughters to buy saris and kurtas and spent about $400 in all.

She had filled up all her lucky draw coupons but on Sept 27, the last day of the Deepavali shopping extravaganza, she was not expecting to win and so did not stay till the evening.

"I could not believe that I had won. In fact I thought someone was playing a joke. I had bought a sari from the Lucky selection store from Delhi on the first day of the festival. Maybe that is why I had been lucky!" said a delighted Mrs Govind.

Organisers tabla!, Tamil Murasu and de ideaz handed out six prizes on Sept 27. The car sponsored by Komoco Motors Singapore came without COE. It was the first time a lucky draw had been held in the annual SIISFest and it proved hugely popular with shoppers.

The second and third winners won a Jet Airways ticket each to India while three other lucky winners won a $250 Haniffa Textiles voucher each.

Tamilavel is deputy news editor at Tamil Murasu

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