Farmhand Bishnupada Ghorui of East Midnapore’s Mahishadal spent Sunday night at the local police station of his own volition.
The 45-year-old resident of Kanjanpur-Jalpai village said he had little choice in the matter after winning the jackpot of Rs 1 crore in a lottery.
“People got to know that I won the jackpot... I had to keep the lottery ticket safely. The police station was the safest place for me and hence I spent the night there,” said Ghorui, who stepped out of the police station on Monday morning to deposit the lottery ticket with the bank authorised by the lottery firm.
On Sunday night, a little after he came to know about winning the jackpot, Ghorui had turned up at the Mahishadal police station and pleaded with the officer-in-charge to allow him to stay on the premises.
Though the officer reportedly told him he could not get “official protection”, Ghorui slept on a table outside the room of the OC.
Under existing norms, the owner of a winning ticket should submit his claim by surrendering the ticket to the lottery directorate within 30 days of the publication of results.
The ticket can be submitted by the winner in person or through authorised banks along with personal details that must include PAN.
The prize amount gets credited to the winner’s bank account after a 30 per cent deduction as income tax and another 12 per cent towards the agent’s commission.
Ghorui, who earns around Rs 6,000 a month as a farmhand, recounted that his excitement of winning the jackpot was shortlived as he realised his ticket could be snatched away from him.
“Some villagers told me lottery tickets are not registered documents to prove one’s claim. The custodian is its natural owner. So I became scared. I decided to seek police protection till I could deposit the ticket in the bank. Though the police didn’t offer me any protection as such, I am indebted to them for allowing me to spend the night at the police station,” said Ghorui.
According to him, he bought the ticket for Rs 150 on Sunday morning from Shyamal Kumar Maiti of Garuhata village, who informed him in the evening that he was the jackpot winner. “I am too excited to think what I will do with the money.... But it will change my family’s life,” he said.