Life after Dh10-million Mahzooz win: What UAE expats did with the money

Some invested in property and changed their lives forever, while others got back to work as if nothing happened



by

Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Sat 24 Sep 2022, 12:46 PM

Last updated: Sat 24 Sep 2022, 3:10 PM

There may be millions of ways to spend Dh10 million — but a number of expats who got it in just one Mahzooz night had one thing in common: They paid off all their debts, including those of their family.

It was what they did after all the loans were cleared that was different. Some invested in property and changed their lives forever, while others got back to work as if nothing happened.

“It completely transformed my life,” said Rama Meena, a cook who won the draw in March this year. He had just returned from India where he has spent six months putting his family’s lives in order.

Here's a photo of him at the airport, with a simple gold chain hanging around this neck:

“My family had a lot of debts. I settled all of it. I bought land and built a new house in my hometown in Rajasthan. I have been able to give private tuitions for my children who are in senior school- something which I couldn’t afford before,” Rama shared.

He is now hoping to fund his children's higher education in a college for their choice.

The one thing that Rama splurged on was a new vehicle. “I have always loved cars, so I bought a new Mahindra Scorpio in India,” he said. “With this money, we have become a middle-class family. I feel like I have been born again and given chances I could have never dreamt of.”

Now, Rama is back in Dubai with the hopes of starting a business. “I still have some money left over from my winnings,” he said, without revealing how much. “I want to start a business in Dubai. This city is very lucky for me.”

'I finally brought my family to Dubai'

Just like Rama, IT engineer Anish Krishnan used the money to pay off his debts.

“I had a personal loan here in the UAE and some loans in India,” he said. “I used the money to pay off all the debts. My loan repayment was scheduled to be completed in February next year and I had planned to bring my wife and daughter to Dubai after that. When I won with Mahzooz, I immediately cleared my loan and brought my family here. My daughter is now a grade 2 student here," said Anish.

Other than that, the Ajman resident had made only two extravagant purchases with his money.

“I booked a new hybrid RAV4,” he said. “I am still waiting for it to be delivered. I also bought a brand-new Samsung S22 ultra for my wife. The rest of the money I have put it as investments and savings especially for my daughter’s future studies.”

After winning, Anish said he got all kinds of calls from people asking for money. “Some found me on LinkedIn and somehow managed to get my number from a CV I had uploaded a long time ago,” he said.

“I was flooded with calls from people asking me to give them money. Some were just rude and demanding. I had to block many people.”

He also shared a funny incident that occurred with his daughter at a mall. “She asked me to buy a toy,” he said.

“When I refused, she stood in the middle of the toy shop and said, ‘but you are a millionaire’. It was hilarious and we quickly got out of there before she could embarrass me further.”

'We live in the same house, use the same car'

Winner Hamdi says nothing has changed in his life since that lucky day in December.

“I am still working and so is my wife,” he said. “We are in the same house, and we use the same car. The only thing I did was that I brought my parents and family to Dubai for a nice vacation.”

The French-Tunisian national admitted that after the win, he had to take a few days off to get his bearings right. “It is a lot of money, and you need to spend it slow and smart,” he said. “So, I took 10 days off work and thought my decisions through.”

Hamdi has helped a lot of his family members who were facing debts and health issues. He has also invested in a bakery for his brother in Abu Dhabi. He dreams of opening up his own restaurant in the future.

“If I need to open my own eatery, I need to quit my job,” he said. “I am not ready to do that as yet. Some day in the future, maybe.”

According to Hamdi, the only thing that has changed is people’s perception of him. “I used to have a watch that is a knock-off of Tommy Hilfiger,” he said. “Now everyone thinks it is the original.”

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