"I thought I won some small amount..."
Ajay Ogula won home 15 million dirhams as the EASY6 Grand Prize lottery winner.
By being the first individual to take home the AED 15 million top prize from Emirates Draw, Ajay Ogula made history with a remarkable account of his rise from poverty to riches.
The 31-year-old Indian national moved to the UAE four years ago in hopes of a better life.
Being the oldest of his siblings, he felt obligated to provide for his family, which included his mother, who was becoming older, and his two younger siblings, who all resided in an old, rented home.
Ajay has been working hard, frequently putting in long hours, as a driver for a jewellery store since he arrived in the UAE.
Ajay explained how he participated in the lottery draw in more detail, saying:
“During a conversation with my boss, I mentioned reading about someone winning a good amount with Emirates draw.
“To which my boss said ‘you keep wasting money here and there, so why don’t you let it be used for that.”
Ajay installed the Emirates Draw app on his phone and bought two tickets after being advised to do so by his boss.
This was his first experience with Emirates Draw, which ended up changing his life.
Ajay explained how he discovered his life has transformed in the following way:
“I was out with my friend when I got the congratulatory email.
“I thought I won some small amount… but as I started reading, the zeroes kept adding up, and I lost my mind when I saw the final figure. I felt lost.”
Ajay further added that it was hard for his family to believe him:
“I was able to verify the news only after visiting the Emirates draw office and receiving the cheque.”
Ajay has shared that his winnings will be split between charity, business ventures and family:
“I will continue building my charity trust with this amount.
“This will help many people get the basic needs in my hometown and neighbouring villages.”
Ajay wants to first give his family a taste of living in the UAE by inviting them to Dubai.
He stated that to become self-sufficient, he intends to establish a construction business and build a home for his family in his community.
Paula Leech, a British national, aged 50 took home Dh77,777 (£17.3k) in the same draw.
The mother of three has reportedly worked as a human resources specialist in the UAE for nearly 14 years.