A South African Dubai resident who persuaded his wife to let him try his luck at the Emirates Draw bagged more than Dh77,000 ($20,960) in the weekly raffle.
Avela Mbokodi, 40, said his patience finally paid off when he won second prize — after taking part in the draw for nine months.
When the father-of-one found out he had won Dh77,777, he said he raced to his wife’s work to tell her the good news.
“Each month I buy two sets of tickets. For the first ticket, I select two numbers, my wife the next two sets, and my nine-year-old son the final set.
“The second ticket is one I randomly [pick]. I couldn’t believe my luck when I finally won.
“My wife is a practical woman who doesn’t really believe in raffle draws. But she shared my joy when I showed her the confirmation email and she reminded me that I had always said I would win one day, and now I have.”
The couple, who have lived in Dubai for 14 years, said they plan to put the winnings towards a down payment on a villa in the community where they live.
Despite scooping the second prize, Mr Mbokodi still has hopes of winning the jackpot and said he even purchased another ticket in excitement on the night he won.
“I hope that I’ll win again and if I’m lucky enough to win the Grand Prize one thing I’d love to do, after getting our dream home, is open a family-friendly restaurant in Dubai that has something for everyone,” he said.
Khawer Saaed, 29 from Pakistan, also won Dh77,777 in the draw and said he plans to use his winnings to donate to charity and treat his family.
“I was very happy when I found out that I won after checking my account — especially since I won Dh77 a month ago,” he said.
“I’m going to visit my family in the next two or three months and I can’t wait to celebrate with them.”
More than Dh25 million has been handed out in prize money to about 18,000 winners since the draw went live in September last year.
The grand prize of Dh100 million has still not been won. An individual or group of people need to match all seven numbers to win.