An Indian farmer-turned-labourer admits he has lost his appetite and cannot sleep after winning Dh10 million ($2.72 million) in the Mahzooz draw.
The 25-year-old Fujairah resident, named only as Thinakar, said he would use his winnings to help his family back home, but also has his eyes on the motorbike of his dreams.
“The largest sum of money I’ve seen is Dh900. Only because of wonderful Mahzooz I now have 10,000 times that amount,” he said.
“So why should my family struggle?”
Reducing his family’s debts was the reason he moved to the UAE in the first place, two years ago, with money he borrowed from friends at home.
“The farmland we bought with a loan was costing us more than the income the harvest generated. I’ve worked very hard to bring our liabilities down to Dh50,000,” he said.
His success was all the more remarkable in that it was the first time he had ever bought a ticket for the draw.
“I’ve seen my roommates participate for months and thought it was time I did too,” he said.
“My late grandparents’ blessings have brought me this money as the lifeline to save my family.”
Thinakar admitted he has been restless since finding out he had won the Dh10m prize money.
“I didn’t sleep that first night, and I’ve lost my appetite since the results,” he said.
“I’m so happy as I’ve accomplished my dream of reaching great heights, but having money of this magnitude at such a young age is a huge responsibility.”
He plans to use some of his winnings to help improve the facilities at the school in his village.
“I was never a studious person, but I know that good education can open windows of opportunities,” he said.
“I was able to come to the UAE only because I finished 12th grade and completed a vocational course.
“Now because of that decision, I’m a multimillionaire who can finally buy the Yamaha RX100 bike I dreamed of as a teenager. I can’t thank the UAE and Mahzooz enough.”
He has also asked his brother to return home from Saudi Arabia to help cultivate his family’s land in India.
But the prize money will not change his outlook on life, he said.
“‘Life is a circle – winners can become losers and losers can become winners,” he said.
“I’m a winner today because I have been kind to people in the past and I will continue being generous.
“A change in bank balance won’t alter my humility.”
The winning numbers were 1, 33, 40, 45 and 46.
The next weekly Mahzooz draw will take place on January 1, at 9pm UAE time, participants must register online and purchase a Dh35 bottle of water to enter.