A woman in the United Arab Emirates has won a $136,000 (AED500,000) prize draw that she entered on the anniversary of the death of her infant son.
The prize was taken home by 38-year-old Sharjah resident Catherine Fallorina. She picked the winning numbers based on her birthday, the birthdays of her eldest and youngest son, the anniversary of her middle son’s passing, and the final number because it appeared to her in dreams.
“I participated on 8th March, the anniversary of my son’s death. That day I had a feeling I couldn’t understand. I just knew something big was going to happen,” she said in a press statement released by the Mahzooz prize draw company.
Catherine tragically lost her infant son to a rare disease called biliary atresia.
“It’s a liver disease that requires a transplant. I was actually a donor for my baby but his condition became worse and unfortunately he didn’t make it,” said the Filipina expat.
She plans to use some of the money to start a business; and some to donate to the church, biliary atresia patients, and family members.
“This was an answer to our prayers, and I know that our late son is thinking of us,” she said.
Catherine split the AED 1,000,000 second prize with Farhan, a 43-year-old Abu Dhabi resident and father, who plans to use his share of the winnings to build a home in his native Karachi, Pakistan and pay for his children’s education.
Formerly known as Emirates Loto, the prize draw scheme recently changed its name to Mahzooz, which means ‘fortunate’ in Arabic.
Participants enter by donating $9.5 (AED35), which the company says goes towards buying water for people in need.