DUBAI: An Abu Dhabi-based Pakistani mechanic, who recently won 10 million dirhams ($2.7 million) in a lucky draw, told Arab News he would spend a portion of it to help the victims of devastating floods which have wreaked havoc in his home country.
The floods, caused by abnormal monsoon rains and glacial melt, have submerged huge swathes of the South Asian country since mid-June and killed over 1,700 people, most of them women and children.
The resulting devastation displaced over 33 million people — about 15 percent of the country’s population — as a third of the country was left under water.
Saad Sultan, a 32-year-old from Abbottabad in Pakistan’s northeast, moved to work in the Gulf nine years ago and has been frequently participating in Mahzooz, a weekly live draw in the UAE.
Earlier this month, he was lucky enough to become its 29th millionaire.
Working as a machine mechanic and operator in an aluminum factory, Sultan would make 2,000 dirhams a month, from which he would sustain his family back home. As the Mahzooz win has dramatically changed his life, he now also wants to bring a change to the lives of others.
“I didn’t have money to donate to flood victims earlier,” he told Arab News. “But now I want to make a difference in their lives.”
Initially, he did not believe his luck. He recalled how he had gone out with his cousin for a drive at night when he logged into his Mahzooz account to watch the draw.
“I didn’t believe it at first,” he said. “Then I asked my cousin to stop the car on the side. We celebrated and also thanked God.”
Sultan is not the only Pakistani to win the prize money. In October last year, Junaid Rana, a 36-year-old driver in Dubai, won the biggest amount in the lucky draw’s history.
“The biggest ever prize in the Middle East of 50 million dirhams was also won by a Pakistani, Junaid, who was a driver,” Farid Samji, the top official of EWINGS, which operates Mahzooz, said as he announced Sultan’s win.
“We are delighted to see that we have another deserving grand prize winner from Pakistan.”