Dubai: Indian driver earning Dh3,200 salary wins Dh15-million Emirates Draw prize

At first, he thought it was Dh15,000, then he 'couldn’t count the number of zeroes'

by

SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Fri 23 Dec 2022, 1:24 PM

Last updated: Fri 23 Dec 2022, 9:02 PM

When Indian driver Ajay Ogula decided to buy his first-ever Emirates Draw ticket, he said he just wanted to "give it a try".

“I still cannot believe I hit the jackpot,” said the 31-year-old expat in Dubai who won the Dh15-million mega prize.

At first, Ogula thought it was Dh15,000, then he could "no longer count the number of zeroes,” said the new millionaire.

Ogula, who hails from a village in southern India, came to the UAE four years ago in pursuit of greener pastures. Currently working as a driver at a jewellery firm, he earns Dh3,200 every month.

"A friend of mine recently won Dh7,777 in the Emirates Draw, and when he received the money in his account, I felt its authentic,” the expat said, explaining the story behind his first raffle attempt. His bosses also encouraged him to try his luck, even guiding him on how the process works.

With such a huge sum of money, Ogula now plans to build a house for his family and start his own construction company.

Besides turning his big dreams into reality, he also vows to help people in need — like how he always did.

Despite his limited income, he has always lent a hand to the poor, setting aside a chunk of his salary for charity. “I will continue building my charity trust with this amount. This will help many people to get the basic needs in my hometown and neighbouring villages."

Like him, his mother and younger siblings still can't believe he's a millionaire.

“They will have to believe it now as I will be in the news. I will send the article to my mother,” added Ogula.

In the same draw, Paula Leech, a 50-year-old British national, won Dh77,777. The mother of three has been working as a human resources professional in the UAE for about 14 years.

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