Dubai: A day before he was about to leave the UAE permanently to take care of his ailing mother, Indian expatriate John D’costa received the best farewell gift ever — a quarter kilogram of 22-carat gold.
D’costa, 47, who worked as a supervisor in a Dubai company, was declared the winner of the January 21 Gold Mega Raffle held as part of the 18th Dubai Shopping Festival by the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group. He won the raffle a day before his scheduled departure to India after working in Dubai for 24 years.
“When I got the call saying I won a quarter kilo gold, in my head I thought someone was playing a joke on me. I really couldn’t believe it because I only bought the gold that day,” D’costa, who worked as a school driver for nine years before becoming a supervisor, told Gulf News.
D’costa bought two bangles and a chain for his wife, and another chain for his son that entitled him to the raffle draw. He said he did not expect to win in the raffle but his impulsive decision to buy the jewellery in Bur Dubai as opposed to buying it from his favourite shop in Al Quoz might have been the lucky factor.
“I’m so happy. This is the first time in my life that I’ve won something. Thank you God, thank you God,” D’costa kept saying during the interview with Gulf News.
“For more than five years, I and my colleagues have been trying our luck at the airport raffle. So each of us would contribute Dh100 to make Dh1,000, but we’ve never won, not even once,” he added.
D’costa said the gold prize came as a pleasant surprise at a time when he’s facing so many problems back home. He gave up his job in Dubai to be able to be with his 76-year-old mother and attend to her needs. “Half of her body is paralysed after suffering a stroke three years ago. But now she’s become very weak, so we need to take her to a hospital in Karwar, which is about 200 kilometres from Goa, so she can be treated there,” D’costa said.
“No one else is there to help. It’s only my wife and my brother’s wife who are there. So because of that, I resigned to be able to help take care of her,” he added.
D’costa said the gold prize would be a big help for him and significantly add to the funds he is taking home for his mother’s treatment and also to start life afresh in Goa.
When asked what he plans to do with his winnings, the selfless son said: “I haven’t planned on anything yet. But this gold must be for her [his mother]. It’ only because of her that I decided to go home for good, so maybe God has given this to me so I can use for her.”