Filipino painter hits Dh1m jackpot!

ABU DHABI — The grand raffle draw of Abu Dhabi Duty Free’s ‘Be a Millionaire’ promotion was conducted recently at the duty free shopping complex.

By N. Srinivasan

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Published: Thu 9 Dec 2004, 11:24 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:24 PM

The winner of the grand prize of Dh1 million is Alex Mensoza Santiago from Phillipines with ticket number 02334. Santiago who works as a painter with Royal Classic Interiors in Mussafah bought his lucky ticket from the City Terminal in downtown Abu Dhabi and is sharing his win with four other friends.

The five winners of Dh100,000 each in the same draw were Simon Daniel (Indian) with ticket number 3976, Mrs Mongodi Kunhalavi Mohamad Ali (Indian) with ticket number 4196, Blessen Varghese (Indian) with ticket number 801, Mohamed Anis Rahal (Lebanese) with ticket number 273 and Jawid Akhtar (Pakistani) with ticket number 3729.

The draw was conducted by Hareb Ghanem Al Hameli, Airport Director; Dan Cappell, Deputy Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Duty Free; and Hani Gress, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Duty Free Manager.

In June 1992, Abu Dhabi Duty Free launched the 'Win Dh500,000' the first of its kind in the Middle East. Originally, the prize was a 'dream house' in the winner’s country of origin, however, the logistics of this soon became impossible, and it was decided to offer a credit prize instead, and shortly it became a prize of Dh500,000 cash.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the raffle last year, a special mega raffle to win Dh5 million took place, and to celebrate the festive season at the end of 2002, the raffle prize was increased to Dh1 million plus five additional prizes of Dh100,000 each. Following extensive customer surveys, it was decided to maintain the raffle scheme at this level.

The raffle has increased in popularity every year with a total of over 600 draws, generating total winnings of over Dh300 million, having been carried out to date. All travellers via Abu Dhabi International Airport are eligible to participate in the raffle. Indians purchase the largest number of tickets (69.47 per cent) followed by Filipinos (5.89 per cent) and Pakistanis (5.11 per cent). Syndicates have become popular with groups of friends and colleagues banding together to purchase one ticket, and sharing out the winnings according to the proportion paid for the ticket.

In a new departure, tickets for the “Be a Millionaire” raffle are now available at the downtown City Terminal facility and online at as well as at Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Duty Free’s.

“The popularity gained by the raffle over the years is a mark of its success,” said Mohamed Mounib, Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Duty Free.

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