Dubai: A Filipina nurse living in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi for the last eight years has won the Big Ticket draw on Tuesday, December 3.
Anabelle Manalastas Dela Cruz, 33, from Central Luzon in Phillippines was named as the winner of the bumper prize money of Dh12 million (about 166 million pesos).
Anabelle, who is single, is sharing her prize money with 14 other people. Her share of the jackpot is close to Dh2 million (about 27.8 million pesos).
Paying off personal loan
In an interview to Gulf News, she said she has not thought much about what she will do with the win, but mentioned a personal loan she took out and must repay.
“I have a personal loan close to Dh100,000 which I took to invest in a house back home. I will repay this fully. The rest will be kept in the bank for now. I feel overwhelmed and blessed.”
Her winning ticket number was 283702.
Manalastas works as a nurse at a government hospital in Abu Dhabi.
She told Gulf News that she has not yet informed her father of her jackpot win as he is a heart patient. “I don’t want him to get too excited. My siblings are definitely excited for me.”
"We cannot contain our happiness. Can you believe it, that I had just finished the rosary when Richard called about my win. It is a miracle, blessing from God. I thank God for answering my prayer.”
One prize winner moved to the US
Anabelle bought her winning ticket online on November 29. She said they are a group of friends who share prize money.
“One of our friends has moved to the US. She left in July and gave us her last contribution for Big Ticket. And look at this, we won!,” Dela Cruz said, unable to contain her excitement.
She usually keeps her phone on silent mode. On the night of December 3, she picked up the call from the Big Ticket team almost immediately.
She could be heard celebrating with her friends and she said on the phone call streamed live on Facebook that she had bought the ticket along with a couple of friends.
At the live streamed event, last month's lucky winner picked Dela Cruz's winning ticket.
In November, 28-year-old Sreenu Sreedharan Nair, a technical worker who earns Dh1,500 monthly salary for a private company in Dubai, was the lucky winner.
Nair shared the ticket with 21 other colleagues in his company. He paid Dh25 of the Dh500 priced ticket, setting his share of the win at five per cent.
Five consolation money prizes (Dh50k, Dh70k, Dh80k, Dh90k, Dh100k) were won by Indians, while one winner hailed from Sri Lanka and won Dh60,000.
There were other winners chosen at random from the attendees of the event in Abu Dhabi for smaller prizes including flight tickets, mobile phones etc.
Next prize, a whopping Dh20 million
The next Big Ticket draw, to be held on January 3, gives away its biggest grand prize ever at Dh20 million - one of the biggest in the region.
Big Ticket is the largest and longest-running monthly raffle draw for cash prizes and dream luxury cars in Abu Dhabi. These tickets can be purchased online or at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Ain Duty Free and City Terminal Abu Dhabi.
A live draw is orchestrated at the arrivals entrance of the airport.
Tickets remain at their usual price of just Dh500, and if you buy two tickets one ticket is given for free under buy-two-get-one free scheme.
These tickets can be purchased online or at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Ain Duty Free and City Terminal Abu Dhabi.
A live draw, which has become a well-attended and streamed event of its own, is orchestrated at the arrivals entrance of the airport.