Gina Soriano receives the Dh1 million prize from Al Ansari Exchange. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: For Gina Soriano, the selfless act of sending money home regulary can yield bountiful rewards.

A housemaid who has been in the UAE for ten years now, Gina had recently made a money transfer to the Philippines worth Dh1,695. The funds were for her family she has left behind in her hometown.

Gina is just one of the millions of expatriates based in the UAE who part away a portion of their monthly income, to help loved ones who are in need of financial support.

In exchange for the remittance transaction at Al Ansari Exchange, Gina got a raffle coupon that entitled her to enter the draw for a chance to score a prize, including a brand-new car and some cash, as part of the money transfer operator's two-month rewards promotion.

There were five million entries generated from money senders around the UAE and when organisers picked nine names for the pre-qualifying round last August 14,  Gina’s name popped up.

A final draw for the grand prize of Dh1 million was made live yesterday, August 28, in the presence of the finalists, and much to Gina's surprise, her name was again picked up, ultimately landing her the great fortune.

“I was very surprised to be this year’s millionaire. This is a life-changing event that will surely help me improve my life and realize my dreams, including providing a decent life for my family,” Gina said.

Rashid Al Ansari, general manager of the exchange, said Gina is the fifth person to win Dh1 million in their raffle promo.

“We hope that the cash prize will make a positive difference in her life and her family’s life. We were also overwhelmed by the number of entries we received during this year’s promo,” he added.

The other finalists who were awarded Dh10,000 each were Rasheed Kunhammed from India; Sameer Abdelghafur from Jordan; Fatiha Bensallam from Morocco; Shrawan Sunar from Nepal; Amr Bakoor from Syria; Mohammed Abu Rahayan from Bangladesh; Azeez Ahmed Khan from India and Honesto Dela Cruz Corpuz from the Philippines.

Another Filipino expat, Antonio Artisuela Cano also won a Mercedes Benz 2018 model.

Remittances made by UAE expatriates through banks and exchange houses amounted to Dh43.2 billion in December 2017. The bulk of the cash moving out of the UAE, approximately 70 per cent, landed in seven countries, with India bagging the biggest share of Dh14.8 billion.