DUBAI: Minutes before Raja Wajahat cut his birthday cake in Dubai, a relative called to share the news that changed the course of his life: He had won AED1 million ($272,000) in a UAE lottery.
A former account manager at a logistics company in Dubai, Wajahat lost his job two months ago and was desperately looking for work until the Aug. 28 win in the weekly Mahzooz lottery.
“I was partying with my friends, and I kept disconnecting a call I had been receiving from a relative, but when he didn’t stop calling I answered, and he said five out of the six numbers of a ticket we had bought together had matched,” the 31-year-old told Arab News on Saturday.
Mahzooz declared Wajahat the 14th millionaire of its 40th weekly draw, in which he had been participating for the past two years.
“I participate in Mahzooz every week,” Wajahat said. “I got goosebumps when I saw the winning numbers on the screen,” Wajahat said. “I cross checked them with my numbers, but I couldn’t believe my eyes.”
This was his first lotto win.
“You never know when fortune is going to smile on you,” Wajahat said. He has already received the money and spilt it with the relative with whom he had bought the ticket.
He said he plans to build a house in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad and open a supermarket in his hometown Bagh in Azad Kashmir.
“Much of the money will go there,” he said, adding that the remaining amount will help him set up a restaurant in Dubai, where he has been living for the past seven years.
“I was anxious about my future and desperately searching for a job,” he said. “But look at me now. I turned into a fortunate man in a matter of minutes.”