Dubai: Twenty-year-old Tala was in class when she learnt she was Dubai’s newest dollar millionaire. She was beyond ecstatic.
The Jordanian student based in Amman, Jordan, won $1 million (Dh3.67 million) in the latest Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire draw held on Tuesday at Concourse C in Dubai International Airport.
Tala, a computer engineering student, was busy listening to a lecture in class, when she missed several calls from a UAE number.
She did not call back as she thought it was a spam number. But when her dad rang her up as well, she knew something was up.
“I immediately left the lecture and tried to get a hold of them. Unfortunately, my phone can’t make international calls so I just went to the first person I saw and asked to make a phone call and that’s how I knew,” Tala told Gulf News in an interview from Amman.
“I couldn’t scream though as I was surrounded by so many people at the university, but the joy I felt was indescribable. I really didn’t expect this,” added the elated student who will be graduating in two years.
Tala said she was with her father when they bought the ticket on their flight back to Amman from Dubai. When choosing the ticket, her gut instincts served her well.
“My father always gets Dubai Duty Free tickets before travelling back to Amman. This time, we were given five tickets to choose from. We were down to two,” she recalled.
“I chose one and my dad chose the other ticket. I told him I had a good feeling about my ticket so we just went with it and I’m so glad we did!”
Tala said the win made her see life from a different perspective.
“I think it just changes my view on life. I never thought I would be one of those people who got so lucky, but here I am!”
“I haven’t really decided what to do with the money yet but giving back is certainly on top of the list and my lifelong dream of course, travelling.”
Dream come true
Meanwhile, Joyline Kilsangi, 30, a Kenyan national based in Manama, Bahrain, won a brand new Audi R8 RWS V10 Coupe (Florett Silver Metallic) in the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise.
Kilsangi, who works as Gulf Air cabin crew, said: “Thank you Dubai Duty Free for making my dream come true with my dream car.”
Another winner, Shahul Hameed, an Indian national, who has residing in Dubai for the past 11 years, will drive home an Indian Scout Bobber in Bronze Smoke.
The motorbike lover said the only reason he chose that ticket number was because it matched the plate number of his existing precious Triumph bike in India.