A Filipino salesman is looking forward to a dream wedding after scooping a Dh1 million ($272,260) lottery win.
Persistence paid off in spectacular style for Antonio, 33, who plays the UAE's Mahzooz lotto every week.
The Dubai resident, whose surname was not disclosed by lotto organisers, is regularly glued to the live broadcast, but this week he missed the draw.
Instead, he received a life-changing call from the Mahzooz team to tell him of his good fortune.
Now wedded bliss is on the cards for Antonio and his partner after he matched five of the six numbers.
“I participate in Mahzooz every week and never miss a draw. However, I couldn’t watch the live draw this week and I didn’t realise I won until I received a call from the Mahzooz team congratulating me," he said.
"I was shocked and couldn’t believe it. I’ve never expected I would win such a big amount of money. This is a life-changing win to say the least. I feel blessed and overwhelmed."
Dubai's latest millionaire has lived in the emirate for three years and can now look forward to the future with an extra spring in his step.
“This money is such a blessing for us and our whole family,” Antonio said.
“My fiancé and I can finally have our dream wedding and set ourselves up for the future.”
He will also use his newfound wealth to support his family and community members affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I have a nephew who was dreaming of studying abroad and I plan on helping him pay for that,” Antonio said.
“Also, my friend works in a church in Oud Metha, and I know a lot of people in that community have really been hit hard during the Covid-19 pandemic. I will donate some of my winnings to the church to help those in need.”
Antonio is grateful for the win that has transformed his life and has a message to his fellow Mahzooz participants.
“Life won’t always be easy, but Mahzooz is there to help. Always look at the bright side: no matter what you go through, there will be blessings along the way,” Antonio said.
Participants in the draw must register online and buy a Dh35 bottle of water to enter. The water is collected by the organisation and donated to charity.