Winner of Emirates Draw Dh25k a month prize to receive money despite UAE raffle pause

All winnings will be paid in full whether small or big, say organisers

Robert Burkovski, a UAE resident who scooped a win of Dh25,000 every month for 25 years in the Emirates Draw, will still receive his money despite an industry-wise pause in operations. Emirates Draw
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A UAE resident who won a Dh25,000 ($6,800) monthly payout for 25 years has been assured his prize money is safe despite all operators being instructed to pause business from Monday.

Robert Burkovski, 54, moved to the UAE from Canada 18 months ago before becoming the fourth Emirates Draw FAST5 grand prize winner.

The industry-wide pause ordered by a recently established national regulator will not affect delivery of his winnings, with the Emirates Draw website confirming: “Every prize, whether small or big, can be withdrawn and paid in full.”

“We are very pleased with the introduction of the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority, assuring all our customers that we will be showing a duty of care towards the protection of all their prize awards outstanding,” Paul Chader, head of commercial at Emirates Draw, said in a statement on Sunday.

“We look forward to working with the GCGRA in establishing a well-regulated gaming environment in the UAE. To that effect we are temporarily pausing our activities in the UAE as of January 1, 2024.”

There is no set date for when the raffle will resume.

Making life comfortable

Mr Burkovski, a consultant who moved to the UAE for business and lifestyle reasons, earned the prize by playing a set of numbers he often used, occasionally incorporating random selections from his two children.

“I played similar games back in Canada so when I found out about Emirates Draw online I decided to give it a go,” he said.

But he was left speechless after hearing of his life-changing win through email.

“My wife and I are still not sure whether or not this is happening,” Mr Burkovski said.

After receiving the email, its authenticity was confirmed in a call from the winner services team.

“We won’t be doing anything extravagant with this money, it will just help with the day-to-day stuff like housing, groceries, or the kids' activities. It will help make things more comfortable,” he said.

FAST5 was part of three gaming formats by Emirates Draw where players select five balls out of 42.

To date, Emirates Draw has had more than 100 winners.

On Sunday, Munavar Fairoos, a private driver from Al Ain, scooped Dh20 million in the last draw of the year from Big Ticket.

Like Mr Burkovski, Mr Fairoos will still receive his prize money in full as he won before the industry pause began.

The grand prize winner, who purchased his winning ticket with a group of 30 people, will be splitting the prize money evenly.

“I really did not expect this to happen,” he said.

“I’m still shocked and will need to take some time to think about my options.”

Updated: January 02, 2024, 12:40 PM