DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: For quite some time, “Leilani” tried her luck at a raffle draw using important dates as number combinations.
“Dati, birthday, age, favorite numbers. That time po nang tumaya ako, random numbers lang,” she told Daily Bread.
Days later Leilani got a message informing her that she was among two Filipinos who have won AED250,000 each – approximately P3.25 million.
Leilani, licensed dentist back home in the Philippines, has been working as dental assistant abroad for the past 15 years. She has, all her life, been wishing to someday open her own clinic on her return.
“Licensed dentist po ako sa Pilipinas bago nag-abroad. Pangarap ko rin na magka-clinic kapag pinalad na makapag-ipon. Napalapit na ang pangarap na iyon,” said “Leilani,” 44, who currently works in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi.
Leilani, who left the Philippines in 2006 to work as a dental assistant in Saudi Arabia, said the money will also enable her to clear debts, continue supporting her parents, give back to her high school alma mater and secure her daughter’s college expenses.
“First and foremost is the education of my daughter. My daughter is in grade 12 and wants to study medicine. I would have needed to work for 20 years to pay for it. Now I can make her dreams come true after winning in the raffle draw,” said Leilani, who arrived in Al Ain in 2016.
“I am the breadwinner in the family. Nagbibigay ako ng allowance sa father ko who used to work in Saudi Arabia and is now retired. Ako naman ang may maayos na trabaho kaya ako ang tumutulong sa kanila,” Leilani said.
She added: “I always think back to my formative years and my time in high school. The guidance I received from my teachers and my classmates led me to pursue my dream of being a dentist and now I want to give back. I plan on giving a portion of my winnings to my old high school.”
The draw was organized by Mahzooz , the only weekly live number combinations raffle draw in the region that offers players a life-changing opportunity with tens of millions in dirhams to be won every week.
Leilani was the third overseas Filipino worker (OFW) to win in the raffle draw. Last week, “Roland,” a bakeshop delivery van driver won AED1 million. Weeks earlier in May, a 31-year-old single mom, Wendy Arroz of Cagayan Valley won AED201,000. A fourth, “Alexander” also won AED250,000 with Leilani.