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Farmer Somboon Khongdee, 54 (third from left), donates 1 million baht to the management of Buriram Hospital in Muang district, Buri Ram, on Sunday. (Photo by Surachai Piragsa)

BURI RAM: An indebted rice farmer and cattle rearer donated 1 million baht to the local hospital that has been treating his wife, after winning the first prize of 12 million baht in the government lottery earlier this month.

Somboon Khongdee, 54, arrived at Buriram Hospital in Muang district on Sunday to donate 1 million baht to its management, keeping a promise he made after winning the first prize with two lottery tickets from the Dec 16 draw.

“I am happy to do what I intended to. I love to help others. Many may think it is a huge sum but I and my family think it is small when it comes to saving lives,” he said.

“If I win more prizes, I will donate more to hospitals,” he said. He also donated 20,000 baht to the Buri Ram police headquarters to support its public services.

Mr Somboon said he would use the remaining funds to build a new house, redeem his paddy earlier pledged to pay for his wife’s medical treatment, and buy a vehicle to transport his wife to hospital for kidney dialysis.

He said his wife had to travel from Phlapphlachai district to Buriram Hospital in Muang district twice a week for the dialysis treatment, which he had paid for by pledging his eight-rai paddy field as collateral for a 270,000 baht loan. He said earlier he bought the pair of lottery tickets that matched a three-digit number he saw in a dream.

On Sunday Mr Somboon said he would continue to grow rice and rear cattle, an occupation he loved and had inherited from his parents.

Dr Charoen Thongthab, director of Buriram Hospital, said he was grateful for the donation, and that Mr Somboon was setting a good example for others by helping his hospital, which like many others lacked sufficient medical equipment to treat patients.

News Reporter

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