Doha, QATAR – Qatar Duty Free, a subsidiary of Qatar Airways, has announced the winner of its biggest ever raffle prize draw turning one lucky passenger into an instant US Dollar Millionaire.
The lucky winner, Otessa Carbonell Schiapparelli, from Palawan in the Philippines, won a whopping US$1million in the raffle held at Doha International Airport. Qatar Duty Free Deputy General Manager Krishna Kumari carried out the draw in the presence of passengers and media from around the world.
“I am really shocked, happy and over the moon to hear this fantastic news,” said Otessa, who cried with joy when she received a phone call from Kumari informing her of the win.
“I pray to God for this news and I would like to thank Qatar Duty Free for giving me the best news possible before Christmas.”
Otessa, who is married with an 11-year-old daughter, works at a hotel in Palawan. She bought her winning ticket before boarding Qatar Airways’ Flight QR644 from Doha to Manila.
The millionaire raffle was launched in May 2006 with chances of passengers winning extremely high as each draw is made after 5,000 tickets are sold. Departing and transiting passengers at Doha International Airport are able to purchase raffle tickets, each priced at QAR950.
The US$1million raffle was introduced as a replacement for the highly successful QAR1 million (US$280,000) raffle draw, which was launched three years ago.
Qatar Duty Free and Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the US$1million draw was the biggest-ever cash prize in the history of the company and, indeed, in the State of Qatar.
“We are extremely delighted to have launched this fantastic raffle draw and congratulations go out to Otessa for being our very first dollar millionaire, “ said Al Baker.
“The raffle has proved a huge success seeing passengers flying from, and transiting through, Doha International Airport, buying these tickets and giving them the opportunity to become instant dollar millionaires.
“Qatar Duty Free has enjoyed tremendous success since launching the Qatar Riyal Millionaire draw three years ago. With the new dollar millionaire draw, we have taken a huge step forward by increasing the prize money on offer by more than 300 per cent.
“After the first dollar millionaire draw, I look forward to welcoming many more instant millionaires over the next few months and years to come.”
Added Kumari: “The beauty of this draw is that it is not restricted to just one prize. Every time 5,000 tickets are sold, we will have a raffle draw at Doha International Airport, so this shows that the chances of winning are extremely high.
“This draw brings joy and excitement to the lives of a few lucky winners. We look forward to drawing more money-spinning winning tickets very soon.”
Qatar Duty Free, a profitable subsidiary of Qatar Airways, has been enjoying significant growth year on year, helped by a ramping up of its presence in the departures and arrivals area at Doha International Airport, the airline’s operational hub. This year alone, Qatar Duty Free has grown more than 64 per cent over the previous 12 months.
The company has introduced high-end luxury brands at Doha International Airport, including Escada Fashion Ready to Wear, Bulgari Watches and Jewellery, Breitling Watches and Pianegonda Jewellery. The company plans to introduce Shiseido, Sands and Ferragamo products shortly.
Last month, Qatar Duty Free opened a 500sqm retail space selling high-end luxury brands at Qatar Airways’ new Premium Terminal, located at Doha International Airport. The terminal is for exclusive use by the airline’s First and Business Class passengers.
Qatar Airways expects to carry 8 million passengers during the current financial year. The airline operates a modern fleet of 52 all-Airbus aircraft to 70 destinations worldwide from Doha. The fleet size will more than double to 110 jets by 2015.
Qatar Airways expands its international network in 2007 with the launch of non-stop scheduled flights between Doha and New York, Bali, Ho Chi Minh City, Dar Es Salaam and Lagos, together with two points in Northern and Eastern Europe.
Doha-based Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2013 – almost double the existing size. Qatar Airways has ordered 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. The airline is a launch customer of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five aircraft on order and scheduled for delivery from 2010. Qatar Airways moves to the New Doha International Airport in 2010, when the first phase of the new facility opens. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com
Qatar Airways is one of only six airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the fifth year running in 2007 following a survey of more than 15 million passengers worldwide. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com
Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132