UAE: Nepali driver wins Dh20-million grand prize in Mahzooz

Filipino expat wins guaranteed Dh1-million prize, while an Indian national bagged 400g of gold



by

SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Wed 19 Apr 2023, 2:07 PM

Last updated: Wed 19 Apr 2023, 10:38 PM

Life changed in an instant for Nepalese driver Padam who won Dh20 million in Mahzooz's 124th draw. Matching all five numbers (5, 10, 41, 46, and 49), he is the first grand prize winner for 2023 under the draw's new structure.

“It is still not sinking in,” the expat said as he claimed his cheque on Wednesday.

Padam, who earns Dh5,700 every month, has always had the time, energy, and budget to support needy people in whatever way he can. “I help blind people with whatever I can and help old people with walking sticks. However, now I will be able to provide financial help on a much bigger level.”

The expat has been living in the UAE for 23 years now — working as a driver at the same company that first hired him.

He started buying Mahzooz raffle tickets soon after it was launched. “Back then it was known by another name. I did not win back then, but when Mahzooz was rolled out, I had won Dh35 and Dh350 once. Now, this is something I can never imagine in my wildest dreams,” Padam said.

The Nepali expat said he selected the lucky numbers by asking his wife and daughter to give him one digit each. Then, he selected the other three. This has always been his way of choosing numbers for Mahzooz, he said.

'I felt the ground slipping away'

Every Saturday night, Padam has been glued to his screen, awaiting the announcement of winners. Of all the shows he would miss — it was last week's edition that he wasn't able to watch because he had just arrived from vacation.

“I received a call from the draw the next day. But I did not believe it and thought someone was fooling around with me,” said Padam.

When he checked on the app, however, the expat realised that his biggest dream came true.

“I called the phone number and they confirmed it was me. That was when I felt the ground slipping below me,” said Padam.

When the new millionaire informed his wife, “she thought I was pranking her. When I gave her the details and proof, she was overjoyed."

Padam said he would part of the funds for his wife's medical expenses, pay off his debts, and save for his daughter's future education. He would also like to settle down with his family in the UAE. Therefore, part of his fortune will be used to build a home here.

Above all, he said he will keep working as a driver — and continue buying Mahzooz tickets.

Winners of Dh1-million prize, gold coins

During the same draw, Mahzooz also awarded the guaranteed Dh1 million prize. This week, it went to Sherlon, a 35-year-old Filipino expat.

Sherlon, a father to a four-month-old baby, works as a radiographer at a private hospital in Dubai and has previously won Dh35 twice after participating in Mahzooz for a year.

“I found out I had won Dh 1 million from a friend. My wife answered the phone and couldn't believe it at first. We were overjoyed and pleased to discover that we were millionaires when we checked the Mahzooz account later,” said Sherlon.

Indian expat Aboobacker, another lucky participant, bagged the last Ramadan raffle prize of 400g of Mahzooz gold coins.

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