Irish teacher in Abu Dhabi wins Dh500,000 with Emirates Loto after forgetting he had ticket

Mr Dwyer shared the Dh2-million rollover prize with three other winners at the weekend

Barry Dwyer won Dh500,000 in Emirates Loto. Courtesy: Barry Dwyer
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A teacher in Abu Dhabi received the shock of his life at the weekend after he won Dh500,000 in the Emirates Loto.

Barry Dwyer, 28, forgot he had even bought the ticket when an email alert went off on his phone on Saturday night telling him he had won a cash prize.

After logging on to the Emirates Loto website to check his winnings, he said he was expecting to get a "few thousand dirhams", but was left speechless when he saw he had matched five numbers.

"I scrolled down to the cash prize section and saw the number five followed by a load of zeros," he told The National.

“My roommate was sleeping in the other room but I woke him up and asked him to double check it because it just wasn’t sinking in.

We just let out this almighty roar when we realised I had won Dh500,000

“We just let out this almighty roar when we realised I had won Dh500,000.

“It would take me 10 years to save that kind of cash, so we spent the next two hours digesting the news, just celebrating."

The teacher, from Ireland, said it was his second time playing the loto and he only bought the winning ticket the day before.

"I totally forgot about it and wouldn't have checked it if it wasn't for the email that came through," he said.

“I spent just Dh70 trying my luck and ended up winning half a million dirhams. Now, that’s not bad going.”

Mr Dwyer has been living and working in Abu Dhabi for five years and is leaving his current job this week.

Working as a chemistry teacher at a private school in the capital, he said he would be taking up a new post at another UAE school in September.

“With everything that’s going on at the moment my 2020 hasn’t turned out quite so bad after all,” he said.

"It's a nice amount of money and will make life a bit easier for sure.

“It probably sounds very boring but I’ll spend the money on a house back home so I won't be lumbered with a huge mortgage to pay.

“I’d love to do a bit of travelling for the summer to celebrate but it’s a bit uncertain at the moment.

"With all that is going on I’ll probably end up just doing the Lions Rugby Tour in South Africa next year as a treat instead.”

Mr Dwyer shared the Dh2 million rollover prize with three other winners in the eleventh Emirates Loto draw.

To date, no one has won the Dh50-million jackpot.