Beginners' luck paid off for an Emirati woman who scooped Dh77,777 ($21,175) in the UAE's richest raffle at the first time of asking.
Khuloud Juma Al Nuaimi, 35, was in disbelief after her name was called out during the live stream of the Emirates Draw on Sunday.
The Adnoc worker said she will use the windfall to wipe out Dh30,000 of debts, with the rest of the funds being put towards building a house for her family.
“I couldn’t believe it. I was watching the live stream on YouTube and when my name appeared, the first thing I thought was ‘is that my name on the screen?’ I checked my raffle ID numbers and they matched!” said Ms Al Nuaimi, who lives in Al Ain.
“My husband is travelling with his father for medical treatment, so I participated in his name as a surprise and I participated one more time for myself.
“This is the second time I've entered any type of raffle. I tried once six months ago but didn’t win. Then I heard about Emirates Draw so I participated and left it to God. When I won, I prayed and thanked him for winning.”
Ms Al Nuaimi was one of seven winners who each received Dh77,777 during Emirates Draw’s latest raffle for matching five of the seven numbers.
Abdullah Mohammed Aldossary, a father of six from Saudi Arabia, was with his family when he found out he had won.
“I’m so happy that I’m among the winners, especially since I only found out about Emirates Draw a week or 10 days ago,” he said.
“I selected my favourite numbers on the website and I thought that if God wills then I might win, and I did.”
A raffle ticket costs Dh50, which buys a pencil and coral poly. This is part of Emirates Draw’s Coral Reef Regeneration programme, which has helped to plant more than 3,000 coral polyps to date.
“Despite being a bit apprehensive at first, I was encouraged to participate when I realised I was actually purchasing a pencil and that no matter what the raffle results were, some of the proceeds would go towards helping the environment,” Mr Aldossary said.
The Emirates Draw grand prize for matching all seven numbers is Dh100 million.