An oil and gas worker who won Dh10 million ($2.7m) in the Mahzooz draw said the money will pay for his son’s cerebral palsy treatment.
Paterio, who chose not to disclose his last name, has been working in Fujairah for three years to support his wife and two children in the Philippines. He has not seen them since the coronavirus pandemic started.
The 54-year-old is the latest winner of the weekly Mahzooz draw.
“The money couldn’t have come at a better time," Paterio told The National.
"My son suffers from cerebral palsy and he needs an operation that could really help him. With this money, we can try to improve his life. It’s life-changing for us."
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects movement and muscle tone or posture. It causes impaired movement and can also cause problems swallowing and eye muscle imbalance.
There is no cure, but it can be treated and managed.
Estimations place the cost of lifetime treatment for the condition at around $1 million.
Paterio’s 18-year-old son has suffered from cerebral palsy since childhood, requiring feeding tubes through the mouth and nose.
The money would pay for surgery that could make gastrostomy tubes – feeding his son directly through the stomach – possible, he said.
“When I got the call about the prize, I thought they were just joking. I couldn’t believe it and it’s still surprising to me,” he said.
“We have a lot of plans and we’re still deciding when and how we are going to use the money.
“We do have plans to buy a bigger house in the Philippines. We’ve thought about buying a house here in Dubai.
“My wife and I have spoken about her and the children moving here, but we’re still discussing that.”
Mahzooz, previously known as Emirates Loto, is one of a number of jackpot draws in the UAE.
Participants in the Mahzooz draw have to register online and buy a Dh35 bottle of water to enter. The bottles are collected by the organisation and donated to charity.
Many lives in the UAE have been changed from draws.
Last month, a Bangladeshi crane operator in Dubai who did not have a bank account won Dh1m from a Mahzooz draw.
Abdul Kadeer was earning Dh2,400 each month, most of which he sent back home to his family.