UAE: More women now join, become instant millionaires in raffle draws; here's why

Both Mahzooz and Emirates Draw have observed an increase in the number of female participants in recent months


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Fri 9 Jun 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 9 Jun 2023, 10:58 PM

With the number of women who had instantly become millionaires in recent UAE draws, you wouldn't think there used to be a thought that most of those who took a chance in such offers were men.

"Despite the perception that men have higher tendencies to participate in draws than women, Mahzooz has been seeing a steady upsurge in female participation and winning," said Farid Samji, CEO of Ewings, LLC, managing operator of the popular Mahzooz draw.

A spike in the number of women scooping huge prizes was first observed in December 2022, when Mahzooz had its first-ever femal British millionaire — winning a whopping Dh10 million, Samji said.

"Shortly after, we celebrated a Filipina millionaire who also took home Dh10 million, followed by three ladies who won the guaranteed raffle prize of Dh1 million each in the past few months from April, May, and now June,” he added.

Emirates Draw also saw a similar trend — with female participation increasing from 13 to 20 per cent — according to the platform's managing partner Mohammad Behroozian Alawadhi.

“This substantial growth serves as a testament to the surging popularity of our new games. With the rising enthusiasm for female participation in our draws, we anticipate that the ratio will double to 26 per cent by the end of the year," said Alawadhi.

What women think

Women who got lucky and became millionaires with Mahzooz share what it was about the draw that encouraged them to join. And the common answer? Charity.

Hameeda Begum, who won Dh1 million on April 1, said she participated in the draw upon learning that a portion of the proceeds is dedicated to supporting various charitable programmes.

“I just participate without the intention to win. I never even check the results and when I received call from Mahzooz, I felt it was a prank call,” said Hameeda, who became the draw's fourth and first female 'guaranteed' millionaire.

Hameeda, a 38-year-old Indian mother of four from Hyderabad, has been residing in Abu Dhabi for the last three years and works as a medical coder at a government department. She said part of her winnings will be going to charity and the remaining will be saved for her children’s education.

“My two elder children are preparing for medical courses. The other two are in school. The prize will be helpful for their education. This win will secure my family's future,” said Hameeda.

Another expat from India, Rinza Firoz, said she takes part in the Mahzooz draw once or twice a month "as the money is used for charitable initiatives".

Rinza, who works in Qatar, also won Dh1 million in April. “I have known about the raffles in the UAE for quite a long time. But I started participating just two years ago. I hadn’t won anything earlier, so it was huge when finally I won."

She said she will be using the money also for her children's education.

Just last week, Mireille, a French-Lebanese expat who has been living in the UAE for two decades, experienced an extraordinary stroke of luck when she participated in Mahzooz for the first time and became a millionaire.

“I had not watched the live show and thought it was a part of the prank calls. My disbelief soon transformed into excitement as I realised it was true, that I am now a millionaire,” said Mireille.

“It was the best birthday gift for me,” said the expat who is turning 56 in a few days.

Mireille said she was inspired to take part in Mahzooz as she "found peace" on the previous winners' faces. “I decided to take a leap of faith and participate. I spontaneously selected the numbers by closing my eyes and tapping the screen." She plans to donate a portion of her prize to charity.


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