Friday the 13th proves lucky for Dh15m Dubai Emirates Draw winner

Russel Reyes Tuazon considers starting his own business after jackpot success

Mohammad Al Awadhi, managing partner at Emirates Draw, presents Russel Reyes Tuazon with his winning cheque. Photo: Emirates Draw
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Friday the 13th of January proved to be a lucky day for a Dubai resident celebrating a life-changing Dh15 million ($4.08 million) lottery win.

It was on this date historically connected with misfortune that Russel Reyes Tuazon, from the Philippines, discovered he had scooped the grand prize in the Emirates Draw.

The 34-year-old, who works as a storekeeper for a Brazilian restaurant, said his success in the draw had yet to sink in.

It took more than one attempt for the team at Emirates Draw to contact Mr Tuazon and inform him of his win.

Even when they eventually contact him, he could not quite come to terms with the news.

Disbelief turns to delight

“I found it very hard to believe what I was hearing, I got overwhelmed,” he said. It took him some time to contact his wife in his home country with the good news.

“When I finally spoke to my wife in the morning and told her the news, she told me I had lost my mind," he said.

“After I sent her a screenshot of the email notification, she finally believed me.”

The win marks a remarkable reversal of fortune for Mr Tuazon, whose wife and family returned to live in the Philippines during the pandemic.

However, his connection to his family remained strong as demonstrated by his choice of numbers for the draw.

He used his date of birth, age and the birthdays of his son, sister and mother among his choice of digits.

Mr Tuazon is already thinking about how to spend his winnings.

“My broad plan is to cease my job and instead perhaps open a company related to my line of work in food and beverage, but I have not worked out the details just yet,” he said, before offering encouragement to others hoping to improve their circumstances.

“Keep trying to receive the unexpected because one day, it may just come true,” he said.

“When I came to this country as a teenager, I had no idea my life could change the way it did.”

The next Emirates Draw grand prize draw is on Friday at 9pm.

UAE lottery winners - in pictures

Updated: January 25, 2023, 3:58 AM