UAE: Indians, Filipinos jointly win Dh1m, pledge to pay it forward

Dubai - All the four winners of the Mahzooz draw, who bagged Dh250,000 each, to donate a portion of their prize money to charity

By Saman Haziq

Published: Thu 10 Jun 2021, 2:57 PM

Last updated: Thu 10 Jun 2021, 3:06 PM

Two Indians and two Filipinos, who jointly won Dh1 million at a weekly live draw, have pledged to pay it forward by helping those in need. All the four winners matched five out of six numbers at the 28th weekly live Mahzooz draw and shared the Dh1 million as second prize – bagging Dh250,000 each.

Although they belong to different regions and nationalities, they share a common goal – to donate a portion of their prize money to charity.

A Dubai resident for the last 13 years, Indian national Anthony, 36, who has been living away from his family in Kerala, said: “I love the UAE, it feels like home…It means a lot to me to live here and be able to support my family. However, with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, I have seen lots of families have been affected, and it is very difficult for many people to find a job during this hard time. In addition to supporting my family, I plan to use my prize money to give back to my community.” Although Anthony has participated in the Mahzooz draw since the beginning, but said this was his first time he has ever won.

“When I got the winning email, I was surprised,” recalled the Keralite. “It’s still hard to believe but I’m getting there.”

Filipina expat Leilani, 44, who works as a dental assistant in Al Ain, is still trying to come to terms with her big win. The money has come to her at the time she needed it the most she said. “ My daughter is in grade 12 and wants to study medicine, which is very costly. Before this Mahzooz win, it would take me at least 20 years to work and collect money to fund her education for medicine. But now I can do it right away without the need of taking any loan. I can make her dreams come true…Also, it is time for me to also support my old parents now as my father, who used to work in Saudi Arabia and fund all my expenses when I was young, is now retired and has returned to the Philippines. They have no source of income so it’s my turn to support them,” added Leilani.

Talking about the sudden win, Leilani, who has lived away from her home since 2006, said: “ I am still trying to pinch myself to believe that this is real,” she laughed. “I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the winning numbers on my mail,” she added calling it a dream come true.

Thinking about her homeland, family and people fondly, she added: “I always think back to my formative years and my time at high school. The guidance I received from my teachers and my classmates led me to pursue my dream of being a dentist and now I want to give back…I plan on giving a portion of this prize money to my high school.”

In addition to Anthony and Leilani, Mahzooz saw two other winners take home Dh250,000 each.

Alex, a 35-year-old Filipino expat who lives in Dubai, is planning to use his winnings to purchase land for his family back in the Philippines and to support a friend in tough circumstances. “One of my colleagues has been left partially paralysed, so I will use this money to help him out financially and cover his bills,” said Alex.

Renjith, a 38-year-old Keralite, intends to clear his loans and use the rest of his prize money to help out his family and friends back home.

“It’s a tough time for everyone but now, thanks to Mahzooz, all my problems are solved,” said Renjith.

For those who missed out on last week’s live draw, entrants can participate in Mahzooz by registering via and purchasing a bottle of water. Each bottle of water purchased (for Dh35) provides eligibility for one line in the draw and the donation is channelled through Mahzooz’s community partners to hydrate those in need.

The next draw will be held as scheduled on Saturday June, 12, 2021 at 9pm UAE time.

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

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