‘I thought it was just a prank’: Pinay in Dubai can’t believe she won AED1-M from raffle draw

Nina Elmina Sanchez, the third expatriate to win the coveted AED1 million at the raffle draw of Al Ansari Exchange Rewards last January 12

“Winning AED1M prize still has to sink in,” Sanchez told Gulf News. 

After getting informed, she still attended her work, which is from 3pm to 12 midnight. 

“Actually, I thought it was just a prank and I was not even able to answer the first call from Al Ansari at around 1pm on Tuesday. I was at the company accommodation and a colleague told me that a staff from Al Ansari called and was looking for me. I had no idea why–the first thing that came into my mind was: ‘Did I exchange a fake dollar?’” the hotelier said. 

Sanchez, who has been in Dubai for over a year now, did not expect to win the draw. According to her, she has no plans yet on what to do with the prize pot but she said she’d definitely secure a good future for her 12-year-old son who is in the care of her parents in the Philippines. 

“The prize is a big blessing to start the new year. Last year was really tough, like many others in the hotel industry that was badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, I was also temporarily out of work for some months. But thankfully, our hotel still paid our salary and I was able to remit money back home,” she said.