Dubai: Filipino expat wins $1 million in Duty Free draw by picking staff number

He plans to use the money for his mother's medical treatment, daughters' education, and to buy a house in the Philippines


Angel Tesorero

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Published: Wed 30 Aug 2023, 2:34 PM

Who would have thought that picking your employee number would lead you to winning a staggering $1 million (Dh3.67 million)?

This is what Erwin D., a 46-year old Filipino expat and long-time Dubai resident, did when he bought online early this month the winning ticket number 0739 for Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire Series 433 draw. He and nine of his friends will now share the $1-million prize equally.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, after hearing the good news on Wednesday, Erwin said he had been waiting for ticket 0739 to be available online. “When I saw it available on August 13, I called my friends to contribute buying the ticket,” he said.


A regular participant in Dubai Duty Free's promotion for five years now, Erwin works as a visual merchandising supervisor for a major UAE retail company. He has been living in Dubai for the past 20 years. He and friends pool money to buy raffle tickets.

He said: "Thank you, Dubai Duty Free! This win will definitely change my life big time. This win will help me pay for my mother's dialysis expenses; the education of my two children who are studying here (one in high school; the other in college) and hopefully to build my dream house in the Philippines."

“Nothing will change in our lifestyle. Me and my wife will continue working at our respective workplaces. But one thing is for sure: we will not be spendthrift but be mindful to take care of this ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ windfall,” he added.

Erwin is the 14th Filipino national to have won $1 million since the start of the Millennium Millionaire promotion in 1999.

Other winners

Magnat Babaev, a 53-year-old Russian national based in Dubai won a Mercedes Benz S500 (Black) car, with ticket number 0757 in the Finest Surprise Series 1849, which he purchased online on August 14.

Babaev is a father of two and works as a captain for flydubai. “This is awesome news, Dubai Duty Free! I never realized that one day I would be the winner; today is one of the best days of my life," he said.

Diptiman Guha, a 52-year-old Indian national based in Dubai won a Mercedes Benz G 63 (Selenite Grey Metallic) car, with ticket number 1576 in the Finest Surprise Series 1850, which he purchased on August 23 on his way to Mumbai from Dubai.

A first-time ticket buyer, Guha is a father of two and works as general manager at Fanar Marine Services. He said: “Honestly, I’m speechless. I just tried my luck, so I really didn’t expect this, but this is the most welcome gift in my life. Thank you so much Dubai Duty Free.”

Lastly, Jitesh, an Indian national based in Dubai won a BMW R nineT Pure (Underground Light White) motorbike., with ticket number 0099 which he purchased on August 15 on his way to Kannur, India.


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