Abu Dhabi’s Big Ticket: Pakistani who won Dh15 million grand prize says ‘never give up’

Shahed Mahmood will split the funds equally with his friend, who purchased the ticket with him

Shahed Mahmood won Dh15 million from Abu Dhabi's Big Ticket draw on Wednesday. Photo: Mr Mahmood

A Pakistani national who won Dh15 million in the Abu Dhabi Big Ticket draw says the money will help him to build a better future for his family.

The draw’s organisers announced Shahed Mahmood as the latest winner of "The Fantastic 15 Million" on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old, who works for a glass installation company in the capital, bought the ticket with a friend and will split the winnings with him equally.

Mr Mahmood moved to the UAE in 2007 and earns about Dh6,000 a month. He sends most of his salary back to Kashmir to support his four children and wife.

“I still can’t believe that I’m a millionaire. It’s going to change our lives and help create a better future for me and my family,” he said.

“This really shows that you shouldn’t give up on your dreams and that you should keep trying. I’m really still in shock, but also feeling excited about the future.”

Mr Mahmood said he has not made any concrete plans on how he will spend the money, but hopes to save for his children’s education.

“I won the money last night and I’m still processing the news, so I don’t know what I’m going to do with the money. It’s a big amount and we’re going to be smart about how to spend or invest it,” he said.

This month, the Big Ticket draw boasts a Dh10 million grand prize and Dh1 million second prize.

Big Ticket has been in operation since 1992 and has grown in popularity since.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 5,000 people would gather during a live event in Abu Dhabi to watch the draw take place. It is now streamed live on social media channels, attracting an even bigger audience.

Updated: November 04, 2021, 3:18 PM