A Filipino delivery driver has won a grand prize of Dh1 million ($272,294) after taking part in a weekly draw by Mahzooz.
Roland Baltazar, 38, has been living in the UAE for the past 10 years and is currently a delivery driver for a cake shop in Abu Dhabi.
He was one of two winners of the Dh2m prize by Mahzooz, a weekly live draw that has prizes of up to Dh50m. His good fortune was shared by an Emirati winner.
Mr Baltazar hopes to use some of the funds to give his partner the wedding of her dreams, as well as help his family in the Philippines.
“We have been talking about getting married for a long time and now we can finally afford it,” he said.
“I can finally buy land for my mother so she can build her dream home.
"I also want to help my brother. Ever since I was little, he has supported me through everything – going to college and moving to the UAE.
"None of this would have been possible without him.”
Mr Baltazar said he had been participating in Mahzooz for a long time and always hoped he would win.
Participants must register online and buy a Dh35 bottle of water to enter. The bottles are collected by the organisation and donated to charity.
“I always knew my lucky day would come and when it came on Saturday, I couldn’t believe it,” said Mr Baltazar.
“When I saw that my numbers matched, I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep. I even had to check my blood pressure the next morning.
"I never thought that I’d become a millionaire but now I know for sure that everything in life is possible.”
Last month, another resident from the Philippines struck it lucky with the Mahzooz draw.
Wendy Arroz, 41, won Dh200,000 and will bring her daughter, who she has not seen for more than two years, to live with her in Dubai.
"This is going to change our lives. I can finally bring my daughter to Dubai and see her again," she told The National at the time.
"I haven't seen her since 2019. She lives in the Philippines because I always thought school was too expensive here as compared to what I pay back home, but now we are looking into whether she can live here with me.
"I'm a single mother and I have no one to rely on. Right now, I'm discussing what steps I'll take next with my parents, but I know that this amount will change our lives for the better."
The mega prize of Dh50m is still up for grabs. The next draw will take place on June 5.