'Winning NDP tickets better than winning the lottery'
For one man, winning tickets to the National Day Parade (NDP) was better than winning the lottery.
Mr Chua Nguk Ho, 47, was in Indonesia for a business trip when he was told he had won a pair of NDP tickets.
The businessman was elated when he received the news and cut short his trip just to rush back to Singapore to collect them.
"A lot of people want the tickets. It's better than winning the lottery," he said.
"I was in Jakarta when I got the message and immediately bought another plane ticket just to come back and collect them."
He declined to say how much he spent on the plane ticket.
He won the tickets from The New Paper's Emoji Contest, a digital contest run on TNP's website about all things Singaporean presented in emoji.
The contest ran from Aug 1 to 3 and TNP received more than 5,400 entries from readers.
Ten pairs of NDP tickets and 40 funpacks were given out through the contest.
Mr Chua said the last time he attended the NDP was more than 10 years ago and he intends to take his mother to celebrate the nation's 50th birthday this year.
He said: "My mother is now in her 70s and she really wants to go. She has never been to a single NDP. We're both really excited."
He added that his mother, being part of the pioneer generation, wanted to see the parade at the Padang very badly and would be very proud to be there.
"It's going to be a very emotional and proud moment for her," he said.
But for another winner, it was a bittersweet experience.
Miss Zoe Ng, 18, won a pair of tickets, but gave them to her uncle even though she has never attended an NDP before.
The student has been wheelchair-bound since she was 13 and said that while the parade might be made accessible for the handicapped, it was not practical for her.
"Even though I can't go, I will still get to watch the parade at home on TV," she said.
"And while I might not get to use the tickets for myself, at least I can give my relatives a chance to see the parade."