Dubai: A little over a year ago, in October 2021, Junaid Rana, who worked as a driver, won 50 million dirhams in the Mahzooz draw in the UAE.
And two months ago, the 36-year-old Pakistani expat won another prize in a raffle – a Mercedes AMG G63 G Wagon worth 1.36 million dirhams.
Sharing his life-changing journey with Gulf News, Rana said he used to try his luck at the Mahzooz draw every month after his salary arrived. Last October was no exception.
“I usually participated in Mahzooz when my salary was credited. That month my salary was delayed due to a holiday, but just in time for the Mahzooz draw. I clicked on six random numbers two hours before the end of the draw. I was at the gas station and decided to open my Mahzooz app. I picked random numbers and filled it in. I’m not good at remembering numbers. So it was not a birthday or an anniversary that I had fulfilled. These are completely random numbers that came to my mind,” he said.
So one Saturday night, instead of getting out of his car to do some shopping, he instead stayed inside and entered the raffle.
He chose numbers 6, 11, 21, 32, 33, 46.
Even as a child, Rana had a hunch that he would one day win a jackpot. “I always told my mother that one day I would win the lottery and help my family. And that’s exactly what happened.”
While earning Dh6,000 per month as a driver, Rana is now sitting on a number of property investments which earn him a monthly rent of over Dh50,000.
Although Rana had long dreamed of becoming a millionaire, the day he became a multi-millionaire was just another day for him. “The only unusual thing I did was offer to sponsor my hairdresser’s wedding when I went to get my hair cut that day,” he said.
Rana, who has three brothers and a sister, added that he bought houses and places for his siblings to earn income. “I myself have purchased several Damac Lagoon villas and International City apartments. Moreover, I have built a huge villa at my home in Islamabad with full fledged security.
Rana’s childhood was marked by financial difficulties. “My father’s small embroidery and sewing business barely covered my siblings’ school fees. I dropped out of school after ninth grade. I did a little promotion and sales work to support it. My family and I returned to Pakistan where he died of kidney failure when I was 18. Maybe if we had enough money back then, my father would have lived longer,” said Rana, who also used the money to pay on old loans.
“My biggest dream has always been to build a sprawling mansion where all my siblings and their families and my family can live with our mother. I’m so glad I did this.
‘Never stop dreaming’
Rana said that after winning, he was surrounded by people who suddenly appeared in his life looking for financial help. “I know the value of money. And so I will help those who need real help. There is no magic formula for choosing winning numbers. I attribute my windfall to my parents and their blessings,” he said.
“We should all do good and help each other… There is no other explanation why I wanted to enter the draw and choose these numbers at random. I have manifested my dreams, and so I want to tell people never stop dreaming. Dreams have a way of coming true if you believe in them unswervingly. And always do good deeds – what happens always comes back.