Dubai: Ten lucky UAE residents shared the Dh1 million second-tier prize at Emirates Loto’s latest draw over the weekend.
One expat each from UK, Serbia and Senegal became the first from their respective home countries to win big in the region’s first, fatwa-approved, fully digital collectable scheme. The trio joined four other winners from the Philippines and three from India.
The 10 winners got Dh100,000 each after matching five out of six numbers in Emirates Loto’s eighth draw on Saturday.
Lee Mills, a 29-year-old recruitment consultant from the UK and UAE resident for seven years, said: “After receiving a call from Emirates Loto, I had to check the app to make sure it wasn’t a prank.”
One number away from winning the Dh50 million jackpot, Lee added: “Winning means so much especially during such an unusual time. The numbers I chose all mean something to me apart from one, which of course was the one that wasn’t drawn!”
Single with no children, Lee plans to share his winnings with a charity he supports in the UK and his relatives. He continued: “My family at home are looking forward to Christmas this year!”
Daniela Dokovic, an IT project manager from Serbia who is married with children, beamed with joy when she realised she had also won last weekend.
“I’m so happy to win, I’ve never won anything before. I will be helping family members as well as donating to some special charities with my winnings,” she said.
The third winner, who was not identified, a 30-year-old waiter from Senegal, added: “I just shouted Alhamdulillah! I was so excited.”
“I will keep playing until I win the Dh50 million. For now, I want to help a charity association at home in Senegal called ‘Aidons les Talibés’ (Help Homeless Youth), and also help out my frined who brought me to this country and found me a job here, he added.
Filipino expat Damian Alagdon Porcare Jr, 44, meanwhile, said the winning numbers were the birth dates of his children, his wife and himself.
“I have been entering raffles for years with no luck, but I never gave up. I will spend the fortune on tuition fees for my four children, my family back home who have been greatly affected by the pandemic and save some for the future,” he said.
Helen Capulong Simbulan, 42, also from the Philippines and a resident of UAE for 15 years, said: “I am so excited and emotional. Thanks to Emirates Loto, I can help my family back at home and finally finish building my house there.”
Oberoi N Joseph, 39, said his winning was a beginner’s luck. He said: “I thank God for his blessings. I am going to use my winnings to support the Precious Heritage Ministries Foundation Philippines.”
Another winner, Archie Mercado, 41, will use his winnings for house construction while Vinesh Kumar, a 45-year-old Indian electrical engineer who resides in Sharjah, will use his winnings to clear his debt.
The other winners requested their identities to remain anonymous.
“Last weekend’s diverse set of winners represents the multi-national and multi-cultural spirit of the UAE. Their plans to help relatives, pursue their dreams, support friends and donate to charities in their home countries is in essence what Emirates Loto stands for,” said Paul Sebestyen, CEO of Emirates Loto.
The next live draw will take place at 9pm on June 13 which can be watched live on www.emiratesloto.com and Emirates Loto’s social media platforms
With no jackpot winners to date, the Dh50 million jackpot is still up for grabs this coming weekend.