A civil engineer from Turkey has found financial freedom after becoming an overnight multimillionaire when he won Dh10 million ($2.72m) in the latest Mahzooz prize draw.
Engin, 33, who has lived in Dubai for two-and-a-half years and works in the construction industry, won the grand prize after matching the five winning numbers of 13, 30, 38, 41 and 44.
“When Mahzooz called, I started to shake when I learned I had won … my wife saw I was shaking and was worried and told me to be careful of scammers,” Engin, who has been married for one year, told The National on Wednesday.
“This amount of money helps a person a lot more. Now I feel more secure … it's kind of financial freedom.”
To date, Mahzooz, which means lucky or fortunate in Arabic, has created 23 millionaires and given away more than Dh200m in prize money to about 170,000 winners from 122 countries.
Last October, Junaid Rana, a Dubai-based company driver, became the UAE's biggest prize draw winner when he won the Mahzooz Dh50 million grand prize.
Mr Rana, originally from Pakistan, went from earning Dh6,000 a month to having the financial freedom that millions of people around the world spend years seeking.
“I couldn't believe it at the time; it’s like dreams come true,” he said during an interview in December for The National's Pocketful of Dirhams podcast. “The thing is, I still cannot believe that I have won. I’m in shock because the amount is huge. I cannot believe it, even now.”
Two weeks after Mr Rana’s record-breaking win, a 54-year-old oil and gas worker became Mahzooz’s second-biggest prize winner when he won Dh10m.
Engin is Mahzooz’s sixth top prize-winner. Since winning the life-changing amount of money at the weekend, Engin has not yet told his family in Turkey of his newfound wealth. However, he and his wife plan to surprise them with the news.
There are other draws in the UAE that offer large prizes, including Emirates Draw, which was launched in September last year. Participants have to match seven numbers to win the mega prize of Dh100m, the largest on offer in the UAE. However, nobody has yet claimed the top prize.
The Mahzooz draw is held every Saturday at 9pm UAE time. Participants must register online and purchase a Dh35 bottle of water to enter.
“I am delighted that we are continually changing peoples’ lives for the better”, said Farid Samji, chief executive of Ewings, the operator of Mahzooz.
“Luck smiled at Engin last Saturday and I take this opportunity to congratulate him and his family. I am absolutely thrilled that Engin is now actually living the Mahzooz dream.”
Meanwhile, Engin is planning to invest in a property in Dubai, as well as further his and his wife's education.
“We are going to improve ourselves [for] our professions and I will continue to work,” he said.
“The money will make a difference not only in my life, but the people around me will all be happy. I had a scholarship when I was a student and I would like to start a scholarship again in my country for someone who needs it.”
In January 2016, the world’s biggest lottery win of $1.58 billion was split between three winners in the US-based Powerball jackpot.
However, the largest single win was in 2018, when an anonymous person from North Carolina in the US scooped $1.53bn in a Mega Millions game.
Ten ways to win cash prizes in the UAE
- Mahzooz draw (Previously Emirates Loto) — Dh10m
- Emirates Draw — Dh100m
- Big Ticket Abu Dhabi Duty Free draw — Dh15m
- Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire draw — $1m (Dh3.67m)
- ADIB Ghina Savings draw — Dh3m grand prize plus monthly prizes
- ADCB Millionaire Savings accounts — Dh1m grand prize plus monthly prizes
- Kunooz Savings Account — grand prizes of Dh1m and a Tesla
- FAB Al Awwal Savings Certificate — Dh1m yearly grand prize and Dh200,000 every quarter plus monthly prizes
- Mashreq Millionaire — Dh1m grand prize plus monthly prizes
- National Bonds Reward Programme — two Dh1m grand prizes every quarter plus monthly prizes