Lottery master

Ahmed Shatil Alam talks to a really, really lucky man who has won numerous contests to win grand prizes including electronic products and foreign trips

Sayeed-Uz-Zaman is holding a flag of Bangladesh at Santiago Bernabéu, Real Madrid’s home ground in Madrid, in 2014 after winning a ticket from a shampoo company’s contest

Sayeed-Uz-Zaman is holding a flag of Bangladesh at Santiago Bernabéu, Real Madrid’s home ground in Madrid, in 2014 after winning a ticket from a shampoo company’s contest

Will you believe if I tell you that an individual won the rare opportunity to visit Spain for four days and watched El Clásico-one of the most watched and most priced football matches in the world of football, by spending only Tk 4,000?
According to viagogo, one of the largest marketplaces for live events, this year the cheapest tickets available were priced at US$ 952.54 or Tk 74,050, with the overwhelming majority of tickets over USD 1,000 or Tk 77,000.
I know it is unbelievable.
Here is another interesting story: A person watched the final match of the highly popular Indian Premier League 2014 by spending only Tk 30 to buy a half litre of Pepsi.
I know these details are tough to swallow. But truth is indeed stranger than fcition.
The same person still watches television on a 14 inch colours television despite having two LED and LCD televisions in his household with high definition picture quality.
Actually, as the person in question Kazi Ahmad Sayeed-Uz-Zaman believes, the 14-inch television had opened up his good fortune after he won it 12 years back.

Kazi Ahmad Sayeed-Uz-Zaman is receiving a smart TV after winning a campaign by telecom company Robi

Kazi Ahmad Sayeed-Uz-Zaman is receiving a smart TV after winning a campaign by telecom company Robi

Since then he has won more than 200 mobile phones with prices between Taka 5,000 to 80,000 in several campaigns and quiz competions over the past four to five years. Ahmad is also the person from Bangladesh who got the chance to watch the IPL final and La Liga in 2014. Talk about luck, eh!
His list of awards do not end with phones, as the professional photographer and former advertising professional has also won three air-conditioners, two laptops, five to seven televisions, several foreign trips and hundreds of electronic products like microwave ovens, rice cookers, blenders and even cooking materials.
While talking to New Age Xtra, Ahmad shared about his early days. In 2003, he came across a quiz competition by a national bangla daily on the occasion of Cricket World Cup. ‘I was an employee of an advertising firm then. Therefore I had to monitor the newspapers everyday,’ he says.
Being curious about the quiz, he took part in it. ‘I was unsure whether I will win,’ he says. Like most people in Bangladesh, he also thought till then that winners of such competitions are awarded by manipulating the lottery process.
He continued to take part in the quiz over the next few months. After spending around Tk 250 in the process, he realised how wrong he was when he won the 14 inch colour television as the runner-up of the quiz competition.
He could not take part in any such contest over the next two years due to his professional life. ‘It was in 2005 when this became a passion for me,’ he says. In the middle of the year, he attended a national television-based bidding competition and won an air conditioner along with the chance for a night’s stay at a ‘Star suite’ of one of the five star hotels in the country.
He was only getting started as it looks now. ‘Actually, I was not looking for the prizes. Rather it was like a kind of sports to me where I enjoyed myself,’ he shares.
Along with Spain and India, Ahmad has already visited United Kingdom, Malaysia and Nepal over the last four years simply by taking part in three different contests by a telecom company and a television channel.
People may think that he has won quite a lot over the years by investing or doing very little. He differs with such notion.
‘Last year, I incurred a loss of Tk 110,000 while taking part in a talk-time based campaign by a telecom company,’ he says. As per the monthly offer of the campaign the telecom company promised Tk 30,000 worth smart phone to users usin the most talktime each day.
Also, during numerous occassions, Ahmad was not awarded prizes promised by organisations despite winning contests organised by them.
In 2013 and 2012, he had participated and won four mobile phones each worth nearly Tk 30,000. But in case of all four contests, the authorities did not keep their words as they did not give him and other winners the prizes promised. ‘I complained about the issue to the respective authority several times. But they were totally reluctant about solving the issue,’ he alleges, while not mentioning the names of the organisations.
Ahmad now wants to win a car by attending new contests. He says, ‘There was a time when people got huge amount of money by purchasing a ten taka worth lottery ticket. But that era has changed over the past decade.’
If anyone wants to win grand prizes by attending similar campaigns, then ‘he or she need to patient and invest precious time and money into the process,’ he says. ‘Frankly, I have invested a lot of money over the years. There were nights when I did not sleep just so that I could take part in the campaigns and offers,’ he shares.
Lastly, he advises students and young people to avoid such promotional campaigns as these can harm their studies.