(left) Indian expat Mohammed Abdul Hameed, who won Dh75,000, with his daughter; and Grace Roque Balbuena (right) from the Philippines, who won Dh25,000 Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: An Egyptian expat, Gaser Ahmedali, has won the second prize of Dh250,000 in Emirates Draw, missing the MEGA7 Dh100 million Grand Prize by just one number.

Meanwhile, the FAST5 Raffle Draw saw Mohammed Abdul Hameed and Atirek Gupta from India, and Grace Roque Balbuena from the Philippines, winning Dh75,000, Dh50,000, and Dh25,000, respectively.

In the last four months, Abdul Hameed, a 42-year-old storekeeper from Hyderabad, India, has had his winnings from three Emirates Draw games exceeded Dh100,000 in total, with the most recent FAST5 raffle contributing Dh75,000 to that sum.

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Abdul Hameed arrived in the UAE in his early 20s, dreaming of a better life. Starting his first job with a salary of just Dh600, he worked hard to support his parents back home. Later, he married and became a father to three daughters.

“My dream is to bring my daughters and wife to live in the UAE, and for that purpose, I am playing Emirates Draw loyally every week,” Abdul Hameed said.

“All my daughters are very bright and talented, and every dirham I win will go to them to achieve whatever they want to accomplish in their life.”

After a financial struggle, he found relief with Emirates Draw. “In April, I won with EASY6 Dh21,600 during the Eid weekend, which came as a [gift]... for my daughters. In June, I won again through the MEGA7 raffle, winning Dh10,000, and now, a huge amount of Dh75,000 with FAST5,” he said.

His ultimate dream is to win the Dh100 million Grand Prize and use the funds to support charities that empower women.

Timely win

Another winner, Balbuena, a Filipina, is a logistics coordinator for an oil and gas company.

As a single mother to an 11-year-old girl, she has faced challenges in juggling her professional duties with her role as a mother. “Life has not been easy, managing a child alone is tough,” Balbuena said.

“Being the sole source of income in the household, I must ensure I am physically and mentally fit to continue working.”

As the years passed, she found herself dealing with growing financial pressures. The increasing expenses left her concerned about building savings for unforeseen emergencies. During one such night, Grace decided to participate with Emirates Draw, hoping for a change in her fortunes.

“I couldn’t sleep that night, various troublesome thoughts occupied my mind,” she said. “But then random numbers came to mind as a sixth sense, and I decided to purchase a FAST5 Draw ticket.”

While she did not win the Grand Prize, a raffle win of Dh25,000 brought relief to Balbuena .

“The win is a blessing; it gave me the financial support I desperately needed,” Balbuena said. “Constantly worrying about how to save from my salary for emergencies had been a constant stressor, and this win provided much needed relief.”

When asked about her plans for the winnings, Grace said: “All my savings will go towards my daughter’s well-being. As a mother, her happiness and future are my top priorities.”