No April Fool’s joke for Phuket man who wins B18mn on lottery

PHUKET: It certainly wasn’t a case of April’s Fools Day for one lucky Phuket resident yesterday (Apr 1) who won B18-million on the Lottery Plus draw.

The windfall came at a timely moment for 38-year-old Panuwat Santipitak of No Sai Thong Village in Ratsada who claimed he has struggled with debts in the past, admitting to racking up a staggering deficit of close to B10mn a couple of years ago.

Mr Panuwat said he regularly buys two or three Lottery Plus tickets containing the numbers 8618 that correspond to the registration plate of the new pick-up truck he bought last year.

Once he had purchased the ticket, he visited various temples, including Wat Ta Khai Nakhon Si Thammarat and Wat Phra That Doi Kham, to make merit and pay respects to Thao Vejsuwan in the hope of fostering good luck.

“It is a common practice for people to buy tickets contaiing numbers that relate to something personal or that have special meaning or sigificance,” Mr Panuwat commented.

“I regularly buy the ticket with the same numbers as my car registration and then just hope and dream. This time, however, fortune was on myside as the winning number was drawn.”

When asked what he intended to do with his winnings Mr Panuwat said he initially planned to build a better house for him and his family to live in. He also said that he would be sensible and not squander the money on unnecessary things, adding that he has learned his lesson from the sizeable debt he amassed a few years ago and his latest windfall would allow him to completely eradicate any remaining money owed.

“It was foolish of me to get into that situation,” he said. “I worked extremely hard to pay that debt off, taking every possible job I could such as food delivery services, general laundry services, working a market stall.

“I did manage to pay most of it off and felt good, lucky, so I decided to buy a ticket. Now I will be able to totally clear my debt and look forward to a happy life. I am very fortunate,” he concluded.

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