From left: William Marquez Aniana, Maricar Balagtas and Abdalla Ibrahim.


2 Filipinos, Emirati share Dh1 million in Loto draw


DUBAI – Two Filipinos and an Emirati shared the Dh1 million prize with three other winners in the recent Emirates Loto draw.

The winners—including a Pakistani, Ukrainian and South African—took home Dh166,666 each after matching five out of six winning numbers in last weekend’s draw.

Winner Maricar Balagtas, a 40-year-old call centre agent from the Philippines, had watched the live draw when she realized she won.

Balagtas said she felt herself go numb and noticed that her hands were shaking as the winning numbers were announced.

“I had to check my entry about 10 times to make sure they truly matched, I just couldn’t believe it. I broke down in tears of happiness,” Balagtas said.

Last weekend was her first time playing Emirates Loto: “I just feel so lucky! I’m still in disbelief. God must know of my good intentions and perhaps that is why I have been blessed.”

Balagtas said she will share her winnings with her family who she calls her “lucky charms”.

The Filipina has lived in the UAE since 2006. She has a son who lives with her parents in the Philippines, and two siblings who live and work in Dubai.

Balagtas said she will also donate part of her winnings to people who have been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and give to a church in her hometown.

Filipina in Abu Dhabi who spent her last money wins Dh333,333 in Emirates Loto May 16 draw

Second Filipino winner

Another UAE resident from the Philippines, William Marquez Aniana, also won a share in the Dh1 million prize.

“My initial reaction to winning was to shout very loudly and jump up and down while praying and thanking God for his blessing,” Aniana said.

The 38-year-old document controller has lived and worked in the UAE for 13 years and the windfall is going to help him raise his two children in the Philippines.

“I plan to settle all of my liabilities and share some of my winnings with some close friends, as well as those who are in need back home,” Aniana said.

First Emirati winner

Meanwhile, Abdalla Ibrahim, a 53-year-old retired UAE national, is the first Emirati winner of Emirates Loto.

The father of six, Ibrahim was happy and shocked when he found out he had won. He plans to share his winnings with his family.

“I am thrilled to be the first Emirati to win in Emirates Loto – I have been playing every week since the first draw,” he said.

Abdalla added: “I think Emirates Loto is a fantastic project especially at a time like this. People can stay at home and win while doing good and helping others simply by participating.”

Pakistani winner ‘couldn’t sleep’

Mubashar Hassan from Pakistan was the fourth big winner last weekend.

“Winning felt like I was in a dream. I couldn’t sleep for the whole night, and as the following day was Eid, I prayed to Allah to say thank you for everything ,” said the 34-year-old driving instructor who grew up in Abu Dhabi and now lives in Dubai.

“My family are my world and I will share all of my winnings with them, and help some people close to where I am from in Pakistan,” Hassan said.

The final two winners were from Ukraine and South Africa and they asked that their identities remain anonymous.

How to play

1. Log on to or download the Emirates Loto app

2. Create your account

3. Buy one or more Emirates Loto Collectibles (designer cards) for Dh35

4. You will get one complimentary entry to the draw.

5. Select six numbers from 1 to 49 and submit your entry

6. Choose whether to have the collectible delivered to you or donated to charity

7. Lucky winners will receive a message from Emirates Loto

With no jackpot winners up to date, a huge Dh50 million jackpot is again up for grabs for collectable buyers this coming weekend. The next live draw will take place at 9pm on Saturday (May 30) and can be watched live on

Emirates Loto is the GCC’s first digital collectables scheme and optional draw. Emirates Loto is open to eligible participants over 18 years of age in the UAE and from around the world. The collectibles can be purchased for Dh35 from any of the authorised retail stores in UAE, the brand website, or via the Emirates Loto app that can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.

Emirates Loto is the UAE’s first fatwa-approved “collectibles scheme”, with weekly draws held every Saturday. To win the jackpot, entrants need to match all six drawn numbers.

The Emirates Loto jackpot is fixed at a minimum of Dh35 million for each draw. If there is no winner, then the jackpot will increase by Dh5 million each week until there is a winner or the jackpot reaches Dh50 million. Currently, the jackpot stands at Dh50 million.

In case of two or more winners, the jackpot will be divided among the winners. ICA/Expat Media

Expat who won Dh500,000 after spending Dh35 in UAE thought it was a prank

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