A travel agent who lost his job because of the pandemic is thinking of launching his own business after winning a slice of a Dh1 million ($272,000) lottery jackpot.
Afsal Khalid scooped Dh333,333, sharing the top prize with two others, in Dubai's Mahzooz draw.
The former travel agent, 38, who lives in Kerala, India, said the windfall will be life-changing for him and his family.
Mr Khalid worked in Saudi Arabia for nearly eight years before his company shut because of the pandemic.
"I've been in India for the past year, with no income. It's been really difficult to support my family," he told The National.
“When I found out I won this money, I was really happy. I told my wife, but she won’t believe me. It’s because we have never won any prizes and this seems like a dream to her."
Mr Khalid plans to use his experience to open a travel agency, once the pandemic is over.
He said he will now be able to take better care of his wife, children and parents. He will also save for his children’s education.
Mohammed, 52, an Egyptian who lives in Dubai, also won Dh333,333.
“When I checked my account, I was shocked. It took a while for the win to sink in,” he said.
“As a treasurer, I am used to seeing big numbers, but this was a different story. I cannot describe my feelings. I was instantly overwhelmed with happiness and my neck pain vanished.
“This win will help me tremendously in my daily life. I will pay off my credit cards and be able to support my family in Egypt.
“Thanks to Mahzooz, I’m now able to bring joy to my family, friends and those who are in need, especially during Ramadan. I’m also planning to donate some money to cancer patients in Egypt.”
The third winner was Khandrix, a UAE resident from the Philippines.
Participants must register online and buy a Dh35 bottle of water to enter.
Money collected by Mahzooz, through the sale of water bottles, is donated to charity.
The next draw will take place at 9pm, UAE time, on May 1.