Dubai: From a raffle coupon to realising the family’s dream house — that was the journey of Jasem and his family after winning at the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) mega raffle in 2011.
Jasem’s son, Rayyan, who was then three years old, was declared the January 28 winner of a Lexus LX570 and Dh100,000. Rayyan won along with nine other friends.
“We were 10 friends who pooled in money to buy 10 raffle coupons which we each named after our kids. Each day we bought one ticket and on the fifth day, Rayyan’s name came,” Jasem, 33, an Indian banker, told Gulf News.
Like many DSF raffle winners, Jasem was in disbelief after taking that night’s call from the festival organisers.
“They [festival organisers] called me at midnight saying Rayyan had won but I thought it was a prank call. I couldn’t sleep that night because I couldn’t believe it until I saw it with my own eyes. When we went to an Eppco station the next day, my son’s name was displayed as the raffle winner,” Jasem said.
“My friends then began calling my son ‘Lexus Rayyan’ because of that. So when Rayyan introduced himself to people then, he would say, “I’m Lexus Rayyan,” because he keeps hearing people call him that,” he added.
Jasem said the group shared the prize, which for some was a huge life-saver.
“We sold the car and each of us got Dh42,500 just by spending Dh200. Through that money, some of our friends were able to clear their credit cards and some were able to pay their personal loans,” he said.
Jasem sent the prize money back home for fear that he might end up spending it here. For him, the money was an investment for his family’s future.
“Dh42,500 is a big amount of money. So we used it to build our dream house in India. It’s a two-storey villa and will be finished in a year’s time,” Jasem said.
“DSF definitely changes lives. I’ve never won in any raffle in my life and DSF was a platform that made me believe I could win something,” he added.