Anabelle Manalastas (inset) won the grand prize at the Big Ticket Abu Dhabi draw on December 3, 2019.
PHOTO BY BIG TICKET
DUBAI – A Filipina nurse in Abu Dhabi who is now the newest multi-millionaire in the UAE after winning the Big Ticket raffle draw plans to continue working even after getting the Dh12 million grand prize.
Anabelle Manalastas, who works at a government hospital in the capital, burst into a loud shriek as master of ceremonies Richard from Big Ticket called her immediately after the draw at the arrivals area of Abu Dhabi International Airport on Tuesday (December 3).
Manalastas bought ticket number 283702 using money pooled by her group of friends on November 29.
“Hey, Anabelle, what day of the month is it today?” Richard asked as he put his call with Manalastas on speaker phone.
“It’s December 3,” she replied.
“And what happens on December 3 normally?” Richard asked.
“It’s Big Ticket,” she answered.
“And do you know who you are talking to, Anabelle?” Richard asked.
“Is this Richard?” she asked.
“Anabelle, you have just won Dh12 million!” Richard remarked, with Manalastas breaking into loud shrieks and claps are heard in the background.
“My God, I cannot believe it!” the Filipina said, adding that “we cannot contain our happiness!”
“You know what? Just now I finished [praying] the rosary. Thank you, Lord,” she shared.
She said that she “tried not to watch” the live draw and would usually put her phone on silent mode, but that this time she allowed it to ring.
Manalastas said she will be sharing her prize with her group of “five or six”, including a friend who recently migrated to the US, who contributed money to pay for the winning ticket.
The Filipina has been working in the UAE since 2011 and has been buying tickets sporadically in the last four years. Her father and siblings are all living in the Philippines, but she said she has no plans of returning home just yet.
With her new windfall, Manalastas said she still has not thought about what to do with the money, but that she had “always planned to continue to work even if I win the raffle”. ICA/Expat Media
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