UAE Emirates Draw: Cancer patient, employee who didn’t receive salary for months win Dh77,777 each

They were among the three winners of the draw


A Staff Reporter

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(L-R) Melroy Fernandes and Firuz Najmiddunov
(L-R) Melroy Fernandes and Firuz Najmiddunov

Published: Wed 22 Dec 2021, 12:11 PM

Last updated: Thu 23 Dec 2021, 7:39 AM

An expat in the UAE, who remained unpaid for several months, and another, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, were among the three Emirates Draw winners announced on Wednesday.

The three expats won Dh77,777 each.

Firuz Najmiddunov, 38, from Uzbekistan was on the verge of packing up and leaving to his home country as he remained without a salary for several months. The expat, who has been living in Dubai for the past seven years, asked his young nephew to choose the winning numbers for him.

He struck Dh77,777 at his second attempt with Emirates Draw.

“When I saw the email in my inbox, I really thought it was a scam. I just couldn’t believe it. I have been without a salary for many months now. I have been praying non-stop. I was down to my last few hundred dirhams. My lovely nephew suggested the numbers and I thought I have nothing to lose. This money changes everything for me,” he said.

Meanwhile, Melroy Fernandes, A 61-year-old resident of Fujairah, had been diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. He was fearful of the future and what his cancer diagnosis would mean for his son’s future.

Melroy hopes to use his winnings to ensure his son receives the “education he deserves”, while “continuing to support those in his hometown who have suffered the most as a result of Covid”.


“It’s just been so hard going through the treatment and watching our bank account hover around zero throughout the pandemic because we were sending money to so many people in India to help. This win feels so great.”

The third winner, Helen Raj, an accountant from India, hit the Dh77,777 in her second attempt.

The 30-year-old said: “I’ve never won anything ever before. I got online, thought I couldn’t win but I did.

“I hope to use this money to support my husband to start his own graphic design business, as he lost his job because of the pandemic. I will also make a donation to charity.”

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