Dubai: A 47-year-old Indian cook, who works for an Emirati family, has bagged the Dh10 million grand prize during the 66th weekly draw of Mahzooz.
Wearing a white shirt, blue jeans and white sneakers, Rama, who is originally from the Indian state of Rajasthan and has five children, appeared nervous but composed when he received the Dh10 million cheque from Farid Samji, CEO of Ewings, the managing operator of Mahzooz, here on Wednesday.
Rama also met the media and said the first thing he did after learning he had won the jackpot was to tell his friends and housemates at his sharing accommodation about his good fortune.
Mahzooz, which means fortunate or lucky in Arabic, has made several multi-millionaires, including Junaid Rana from Pakistan who previously won the Dh50 million grand prize back in October last year. In the new Mahzooz darw three (French-Tunisian, Indian and Filipino) expats have already won the Dh10 million first prize in the last five months.
Rama, who has been buying two tickets monthly since 2020, said he picked the winning numbers (3, 16, 19, 23, and 30) randomly.
“I had seen my numbers declared as the winning numbers on social media after the draw, but I didn’t dare believe it until someone called and told me,” said Rama, adding: “The joy I’ve been feeling is indescribable. This prize money will allow my children to lead a life free of the struggles and hardships I’ve encountered.”
He shared those adversities include dropping out of school at 11 years old to work in canteens and roadside tea and snack stalls to support his farmer parents.
“I’m from a really poor family. My parents couldn’t afford to educate me and my three siblings. But, now, this money will definitely help me educate my kids and pave the way for them to be successful,” he added with joy.
Rama considers the UAE his lucky charm. He said: “Before I came to Dubai, I was working as a private cook in a tour company catering to Indian tourists. I’ve travelled the world. But I decided to come to the UAE because my friends said this is the place where dreams come true.”
Now, Rama is planning to open a small restaurant in the UAE and he said he continue to live and do business here. He also plans to donate to orphanages in India and clear his debts with his prize money.
But first, Rama is planning to reunite with his family. He noted: “It’s been four years since I’ve seen my family as I didn’t have enough money to travel. For the last 12 years, I’ve yearned for the lifestyle of the families whose homes I’ve worked in. My dreams have been simple ones of owning a nice home and a car. After working continuously for 37 years, it’s finally my turn to live a life of comfort and fulfil every dream that my kids, parents, and siblings have ever had. I will remain forever grateful to Mahzooz for this great fortune.”
How to join
The next Mahzooz live draw will be held on Saturday, March 5, at 9pm (UAE time). Entrants can participate by registering on Mahzooz app and website, and purchasing a bottle of water for Dh35.