Dubai: Jobless for a year, man hits Dh300,000 jackpot during Ramadan

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on April 28, 2021
Afsal Khalid. Photo: Supplied

He has pledged a certain amount of the prize money for charity.

After being jobless for almost a year, an Indian resident who had returned to his home country, depressed and in despair, received a life-changing phone call from Dubai.

Afsal Khalid, hailing from the south Indian state of Kerala, struck gold after being declared as one of the winners of the 22nd Mahzooz weekly digital draw in Dubai that won him over Dh300,000.

Calling it a Ramadan gift from the Almighty, Afsal, who has been observing the holy month, told Khaleej Times: “This is the blessing of the holy month of Ramadan, I believe. I was so low and depressed after sitting at home, jobless, for the last one year. All I was doing was praying fervently, seeking God’s help."

On Saturday night, Afsal says he woke up from his sleep and decided to check his email, as the draw results were expected then. "I couldn’t believe what I saw on the mail, as it said that I had won Dh333,333 in the Mahzooz draw.”

Afsal, 38, said he couldn’t sleep all night in excitement and was unsure if it was true — until he received a call from the Mahzooz draw officials the next morning, who confirmed that he had indeed won the second prize at the draw along with two other winners.

Pledging a certain amount of the prize money for charity, Afsal said: “I will first give sadaqa (charity) from this money, as this is my way of thanking God and passing forward the goodness I received. I will especially try and support people who are out of jobs and have families to support, as I have been in that situation. After this, I am planning to set up a small business here in my town to ensure a sustainable income so I can stay with my family and not have to go abroad to earn a living.”

Afsal said he learnt about the Mahzooz draw from Facebook and has been applying to its weekly draws regularly. "I am so gratefully to the Mahzooz management for hosting this online digital draw, as it allows people from across the world to participate and helps transform lives. My life has changed forever now,” he said.

A total of three lucky winners walked away with Dh333,333 each in the draw, after matching five out of six numbers to split the Dh1,000,000 prize.

The two other winners were Khandrix from the Philippines and Egyptian national Mohammed, who has been a UAE resident since 2004.

Mohammed, who works as a treasurer with a company in UAE and is a regular participant at the Mahzooz draw, said: “It took a while to sink in that I had won such a big amount. As a treasurer, I am used to seeing big numbers, but this was a different story. I cannot describe my feelings; I was instantly overwhelmed with happiness,” he added.

Talking about what he will do with the prize money, Mohammed said: “This win will help me tremendously in my daily life. I will pay off my credit cards and be able to support my family in Egypt. Thanks to Mahzooz, I’m now able to bring joy to my family, friends, and those who are in need, especially during this holy month of Ramadan. I’m also planning to donate some money to cancer patients in Egypt.”

For those who missed out on last week’s live draw, entrants can participate in Mahzooz by registering via and purchasing Al Emarat bottles of water. Each bottle of water purchased for Dh35 is equivalent to one line of numbers for the draw. The donation is channelled through Mahzooz’s partners to supply water to those in need.

The next draw will be held on Saturday, May 1, at 9pm UAE time.

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