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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 8 March 2021

Filipina who won Dubai’s Dh1m lottery will keep receptionist job

Nina Elmina Sanchez says she does not want to make ‘rushed decisions’

Nina Elmina Sanchez won Dh1 million from Dubai's Al Ansari Exchange raffle draw. Courtesy: Ms Sanchez 
Nina Elmina Sanchez won Dh1 million from Dubai's Al Ansari Exchange raffle draw. Courtesy: Ms Sanchez 

A single mother from the Philippines who scooped Dh1 million in a raffle draw in Dubai will continue working as a hotel receptionist despite her new-found fortune.

Nina Elmina Sanchez, 32, said she is still drawing up plans on “how to spend the money wisely” and will keep her job, from which she earns about Dh2,000 per month.

Last week, Ms Sanchez struck it lucky with a raffle draw by Al Ansari Exchange, after sending Dh186 to her father back home. Now she is Dh1 million richer.

I’m not materialistic and I don’t plan on going shopping for myself. I’m determined to make my family’s life better

Nina Elmina Sanchez

The new millionaire moved to Dubai a year ago and uses much of her salary to support her 12-year-old son and parents, who live in the Philippines.

“Yes, I have won a big amount, but I’m still deciding how I will spend it. I don’t want to waste it – I want to save for my family, especially my son and his education,” Ms Sanchez told The National.

“I am still going to my work because I don’t want to rush my decisions. No job is big or small. There’s a pandemic going on, and I think I should take my time and properly plan what I will do next.”

When representatives from Al Ansari Exchange called her last week with the good news, she assumed it was a prank.

“I couldn’t believe the news for several days, but now it is my reality and I’m excited about what the future holds,” Ms Sanchez said.

Ms Sanchez was announced as the winner during a live stream last week. Courtesy: Al Ansari Exchange 
Ms Sanchez was announced as the winner during a live stream last week. Courtesy: Al Ansari Exchange 

“I’m not materialistic and I don’t plan on going shopping for myself. I’m determined to make my family’s life better.”

In Dubai, she lives in a one-bedroom flat with her sister and cousin, who have helped her during her difficult times.

“I have family and friends here who have supported me,” Ms Sanchez said. “I’m very grateful for that.”

Al Ansari Exchange’s reward programme allows customers who are sending money back home to enter a draw to win the jackpot, luxury cars and other prizes.

Winner of Abu Dhabi’s Dh20 million jackpot to share fortune with colleagues

Earlier in January, an Indian man in Oman struck lucky with a Dh20 million jackpot from Abu Dhabi’s Big Ticket raffle.

He is splitting the prize with seven of his colleagues, with each receiving Dh2.5 million.

Abdussalam NV, 28, will use his slice of the big-money haul to support charity, save for his children’s education and expand his business.

The family man was in danger of missing out on his dream win when organisers were unable to contact him. Mr NV had provided two incorrect phone numbers when buying the raffle ticket.

Its organisers appealed for help and he was declared the winner on January 3 after colleagues spotted the plea.

The Big Ticket’s next draw is set to take place in February 3, with a grand prize of Dh15 million.

The draw will be streamed live.

Gallery: How would you spend Dh20m?

Updated: January 18, 2021 07:38 PM

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