Indian cook who earns Dh3,000 a month scoops Dh10 million in Mahzooz draw

Rama, 47, will pay off mounting debts with the money

Mahzooz draw winner Rama with his cheque for Dh10 million. Photo: Pawan Singh / The National
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An Indian cook in Dubai who earns just Dh3,000 a month scooped the Dh10 million ($2.7m) jackpot in the Mahzooz draw on Saturday.

Rama, from Rajasthan, is the first multimillionaire from the weekly draw this year and said the money will pay for a better future for his five children and wife, who all live in India.

The 47-year-old, who chose not to disclose his last name, has been in Dubai for 12 years. He cooks for several families and lives in shared accommodation.

He said he usually plays Mahzooz twice a month and tends to pick his numbers at random.

Even now my mother and father back home in India think it’s not true
Rama, Mahzooz millionaire

“I had a feeling on Saturday night that I might have won but I didn’t get a phone call and I didn’t check my numbers,” he said.

“Then on Sunday morning I got a phone call from the people at Mahzooz to say I had won Dh10 million. I just couldn’t believe it. I immediately ran and told my neighbours and called my family.

“At first they didn’t believe me. Even now my mother and father back home in India think it’s not true.

“My sleeping and eating pattern is all messed up because I still can’t believe this has happened to me.”


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Working as a cook for several families in Dubai, Rama said he plans to keep working as normal until he figures out what to do with the money.

With debts of about Dh70,000, he plans to pay off all his loans, which will help him sleep better at night.

With four girls and one boy, the oldest of whom is 25 and the youngest being 18-year-old twins, Rama said the money will be used to give them a life he never had the chance to live until now.

“I want to give them each some money so they can secure a better life for themselves. Now they don’t have to struggle like I did. Life has been hard,” he said.

“I have never had money in my life so I still don’t know what to do with the winnings. I will not buy things like a car or house just yet, but maybe one day I will open my own business in Dubai.

“I want to stay here and bring my family here.”

Matching all five numbers in the weekly live draw, the new multimillionaire is the fourth person to take home the top prize. The winning numbers were 3, 16, 19, 23, 30.

On the same night, 31 winners claimed the second prize of Dh1 million, with each taking home Dh32,258 after matching four out of five numbers.

Updated: March 02, 2022, 8:56 AM