Expat on unpaid leave among winners of Dh1 million prize in UAE
Since the spread of Covid-19, which led to the schools closing, she has had to stay at home on unpaid leave.
A 53-year-old Filipina school bus supervisor -who was recently placed on unpaid leave-was among the latest Emirates Loto winners who shared a Dh1-million prize.
Three UAE residents, two Filipinos and one Indian national, each took home Dh333,333 after matching five out of six numbers in last weekend's Loto draw. And Filipina expat Remedios Bombon was one of them.
Remedios, who lives in Abu Dhabi, was shocked and emotional upon learning about her win. "I feel so lucky and blessed. I've never won anything before," she said.
Arriving in the UAE seven years ago to work as a housemaid, Remedios later took a job supervising school buses, but since the spread of Covid-19 - which led to the schools closing and opting for e-learning - she has had to stay at home on unpaid leave.
"I am going to open my own business in the Philippines while continuing to support my family and their studies. I am also going to look into charities at home to help," she said.
The second winner was Rodel Pangan Punzalan, a 42-year-old expat who is also from the Philippines. Having lived in UAE with his wife and children for 16 years, Rodel was extremely grateful to find out he was a lucky winner.
"My initial reaction was one of sheer surprise and thankfulness. I'd never played Emirates Loto before nor had I won anything during my life so far," Rodel said.
Besides giving a share of the prize to his wife and family, he is also planning to donate to a church and a foundation in the Philippines.
"To win during the time of a pandemic is certainly unusual, and it has made me feel blessed and grateful for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. God is good," he said.
Paul Sebestyen, CEO of Emirates Loto, said they believe in changing lives.
"We are thrilled to be able to help every winner of Emirates Loto. Last week's winners plan to help their loved ones and donate to charities and non-profits. This generosity is a true reflection of what we stand for - changing the lives of others," he said.
The third winner of last week's second-tier cash prize was an Indian national who asked that his identity remain anonymous.
With no jackpot winners, a whopping Dh 50 million is again up for grabs for collectable buyers this coming weekend. The next live draw will take place at 10pm this Saturday, May 23, and can be watched live on Emirates Loto's website and social media platforms.
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