Dubai: After Filipino expat William Marquez Aniana, 38, won a Dh166,666 prize from Emirates Loto in May, he did not hesitate to share the bounty with his family and needy kababayan (countrymen) affected by the pandemic.
Aniana could have opted to return to the Philippines for good and fulfil his lifelong dream of opening a small restaurant, but he opted instead to stay in Dubai and keep his job as a document controller. However, he used the prize to send money to his family and buy groceries for his neighbours in his hometown.
He also decided to use his good fortune to try his hand at becoming an influencer on a dedicated mission to give back to the community. He set up a YouTube channel called ‘Yayam’s TV’ that is designed to help people in need.
“From the moment I was lucky enough to win Emirates Loto, my life totally changed both financially and in terms of opportunity. I became known in the UAE Filipino community and my life story was even featured back at home by a famous TV personality,” said Aniana, a father of two.
He said once he earns from his social media channel, he will continue to help those who are in need, “including those who seek medical attention or are homeless”.
He added before winning at Emirates Loto, he spent some of his savings on helping his relatives who were in need when the pandemic began.
Meanwhile, Emirates Loto announced it is set to relaunch after the summer. The company added “it will continue to work behind the scenes ahead of its first draw” following a pause in its operations on July 18 due to platform upgrades.
“Emirates Loto will also continue to support communities across the UAE and beyond through philanthropic and CSR initiatives that are aligned with its corporate mission and value,” Ewings LLC, the managing operator of Emirates Loto, told Gulf News in a statement on Wednesday.