A car wash supervisor who saved up tips from customers to take part in the UAE's Big Ticket draw has told of his joy over his life-changing Dh30 million jackpot win.
Kathar Hussain, from Sharjah, earns Dh1,500 per month, and said he could never have dreamt of earning so much money.
He was on holiday in his native India when he struck lucky, with organisers initially unable to reach him during the live draw announcement on Saturday.
He will split the winnings with his friend Devaraj, with whom he gathered tips to buy the precious ticket.
The huge prize was the biggest in the competition's 30-year history.
“I earn Dh1,500 every month. For however many years I worked, I would not be able to make so much money in my lifetime,” said Mr Hussain.
“I was watching the show and was in India at my friend’s home when I realised I was the winner.
“I was shocked. I just thanked Allah. I never thought I would see such a day.
“My life will change completely In sha'Allah [God willing]. I am still so excited.
“I never thought I would get so much money. I want to stay here in the UAE and bring my family here from India.”
Win will change family fortunes
Mr Hussain's family are in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, from where he hails, and he hopes to build a family home.
“My family are very happy. I live in a rented house and am hoping to build a house for myself and my parents,” he said.
Mr Hussain has worked in the UAE for more than five years.
He plans to leave his day job behind and start his own business venture.
It is a wonderful end to the year for Mr Hussain and his friend, and there are set to be more celebrations in 2023 for Big Ticket players.
The next draw, which will take place on January 3, will have the largest jackpot in the competition’s history.
There will be a first prize of Dh35 million up for grabs, with tickets costing Dh500 each.