A Bangladeshi man in Abu Dhabi who lost his job during the pandemic has scooped Dh142,857 in a Dubai lottery.
Foqruzzaman Khan, 40, said the past few years have been “very unlucky” for him, because he was injured in a motorbike accident in 2019 and then lost his job as an office clerk during the Covid-19 pandemic.
But his fortunes changed when he found that he was one of seven winners who shared the Dh1 million second prize for picking out five of the six numbers in Saturday's Mahzooz draw.
“Now my luck is turning around. I can open my own business and support my family back home. It’s like a miracle. I still can’t believe I’ve won,” he said.
“After I lost my job it was very difficult. I was borrowing from friends just to buy food and pay rent. I did a few part-time jobs to earn what I can, but it wasn’t enough.
“And I’m still recovering from the accident. A car hit my motorbike two years ago and I broke both my shoulders and lost some of my teeth.”
Mr Khan said he would use part the funds to complete the construction of his house in his home country.
He also plans to put some towards his son’s education, who lives back home with his mother.
“After a very bad two years, now I can finally feel happy again,” Mr Khan said.
Nazar Hussain, a Pakistani businessman in Abu Dhabi, was another winner of the draw.
The 35-year-old said he wants to expand his construction business with the winnings and bring some of his relatives to the Emirates.
“The money has come at a really good time for me. I plan to invest some into my business and help my brother visit me,” he said.
“I never thought I’d win, so this feels like a dream. It might not be a big amount for some people, but it’ll really help me.”
Jovannie, 32, a Filipino logistics co-ordinator in Dubai, hopes to build a house in his home country with his share of the prize.
He entered the draw at the last minute and selected his numbers at random.
"I remembered about the weekly live draw at the last minute, so I immediately logged into my Mahzooz account and chose my numbers randomly. The next day I received a call from the Mahzooz team telling me that I had won Dh142,857. I cried tears of joy,” he said.
“Building my own home in my country is almost impossible with my current salary. Thankfully, with this prize money, my mother and I can have our own home soon.”
To play, participants must register online and buy a Dh35 bottle of water to enter.
The bottles of water are donated to charity.