DUBAI: An Abu-Dhabi-based Pakistani mechanic, who recently won AED 10 million in a lucky draw, said earlier this week he wanted to spend a portion of his money to help flood-affected people in his country of origin.
Saad Sultan originally belongs to Abbottabad, though he decided to move to the United Arab Emirates nine years ago to secure better economic prospects.
The 32-year-old Pakistan said he frequently participated in Mahzooz, which is billed as the only weekly live draw in the Gulf region, before getting lucky and becoming its 29th millionaire.
“I didn’t have money to donate to flood victims earlier,” he told Arab News on Friday. “But now I want to make a difference in their lives.”
According to Pakistani officials, more than 1,700 people have lost their lives in recent floods which were triggered by torrential monsoon rains that began in the middle of June.
The resulting devastation displaced over 33 million people while leaving a third of the country under water.
Sultan, who works as a machine mechanic and operator in an aluminum factory that pays him AED 2,000, is not the only Pakistani who has won the prize money. Last year in October, Junaid Rana, a 36-year-old Pakistani driver in Dubai, also won a massive amount after participating in the lucky draw.
Despite being married for four years, Sultan said he was not able to bring his wife to the UAE since he could not afford a separate residence and lived with other factory workers in a shared accommodation.
“I am my family’s only breadwinner,” he continued. “I am responsible for my ailing mother and a sister, who lost her husband to brain tumor last year, as well as her child.”
Sultan said his life changed dramatically after he matched five out of five winning numbers.
He recalled 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.”
He told Arab News he was now planning to set up his own business in the UAE.
Farid Samji, the top official of EWINGS which operates Mahzooz, said: “The biggest ever prize in the Middle East of AED 50 million was also won by a Pakistani, Junaid, who was a driver, and we are delighted to see that we have another deserving grand prize winner from Pakistan.”
He added winning the money had also changed the life of the first Pakistani who invested in properties in Dubai which became his major source of income.
Samji also informed that Pakistani nationals constituted Mahzooz’s third largest customer base.