A Filipina mother is to be reunited with her daughter, who she has not seen in more than two years, after winning Dh200,000 ($54,000) in a Dubai lottery.
Wendy Arroz, 41, said she can now bring her daughter, 8, to the UAE to live with her, as the windfall will help her to pay school tuition fees and additional living expenses she couldn't afford on her Dh6,200 salary.
The single mum has not seen her daughter since 2019 due to travel restrictions caused by Covid-19.
Ms Arroz, who works as an office manager, struck it lucky with two entries in the 25th live weekly draw by Mahzooz. She won Dh200,000 from one entry and Dh1,000 from the other.
"This is going to change our lives. I can finally bring my daughter to Dubai and see her again," she told The National.
"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."
Ms Arroz travels home once a year, but several Covid-related restrictions have prevented her from returning.
She also plans to buy a house in the Philippines for her family and share some of the funds with her mother.
Ms Arroz was one of five winners to match five out of six numbers in the weekly live Mahzooz draw. She shared the Dh1 million second prize with four others who are all Indian nationals.
Her second entry in the same draw matched four out of six numbers, winning her an extra Dh1,000.
“I was driving with my friend during the draw and asked my brother to check the numbers for me. He mentioned I got four out of six. I was shocked and ecstatic to win the Dh1,000,” said Ms Arroz.
“As I was celebrating, my friend mentioned that on my other entry, I matched five numbers. I had to pull the car over to go online and check the results. I started crying and thinking to myself ‘is this really happening, is this really true'.”
The mega prize of Dh50 million is still up for grabs, with the next draw set to take place on May 22.
Participants must register online and buy a Dh35 bottle of water to enter.
The water bottles are donated to charity.