Shanavas and Nelson
Indian and Filipino expats Shanavas and Nelson share the Dh10million prize from Mahzooz Draw in Dubai

Dubai: A Filipino expatriate and an Indian national — both in their 40s and who earn under Dh5,000 a month — have become multimillionaires overnight after winning the Dh10 million grand prize in the recent 88th Mahzooz weekly draw in Dubai.

Nelson who hails from Manila in the Philippines, and Shanavaz, 41, from Indian state of Kerala, met with journalists on Wednesday to share about their good fortune.

The two who won Dh5 million each did not know each other and both of them met only for the first time after collecting the cheque from Mahzooz. Their only similarities are that they are both married, with kids, and have been living in the UAE away from the respective families for 14 years.

Early birthday gift

Nelson, who works as a machine operator in Dubai, said his share of Dh5 million from the grand prize was an early birthday gift. He would be turning 45 on August 19. He said his birth date and that of his wife and kids are all lucky numbers as they are the five winning numbers in the draw (7-9-17-19-21). His birthday is 19; his wife is 9 and their kids are 7, 17 and 21. He had been buying tickets with this combination weekly for one year and it finally paid off.

Asked what he will do with his huge win, Nelson said: “I will continue to live a simple life. I have no specific plans yet with the money but I my first project is to buy a rice field in the Philippines and a car for my daughter who is in college because she asked for it.”

Nelson said he will continue to work in Dubai and he is planning to have a “big party’ with his friends and co-workers on his upcoming birthday.

Random selection

Unlike Nelson, Shanavaz, who works as a controller at a car rental company, said he selected the winning numbers randomly.

“I choose my numbers randomly without giving it much thought and then I went to work without noticing that my numbers were on the screen during the draw. My biggest surprise was to know that someone else had picked up the same numbers and now shares the top prize with me. I am happy for both of us,” he said, adding the first thing he will do with win prize money is to use it to clear his debts.

He continued: “I have not yet decided how to use my winnings but I know for sure that I will keep working in the UAE because this country has given me the ability to dream and now, thanks to Mahzooz, my dreams can be fulfilled.”

Meanwhile, Farid Samji, CEO of Ewings, operator of Mahzooz, said: “Participants from India and the Philippines top the list of our players. To date, over 50,000 participants from India have been among Mahzooz’s winners while there have 27,000 winners from the Philippines.”

How to join

The top prize of Dh10 million is again up for grabs in the next Mahzooz live draw that will be held on August 20 at 9pm (UAE time). Entrants can participate by registering on Mahzooz app and website, and purchasing a bottle of water for Dh35.