The wait was well worth it for Khaled Mahmoud Ghadban, 58-year-old Palestinian, who finally reaped the fruits of patience — in the form of two Infiniti luxury cars, QX60 and G25, and a cash prize of Dh100,000.
Ghadban has been participating in the DSF Mega Raffles since the inception of the Dubai Shopping Festival in 1996, but never bagged any prizes. This year, however, he directly hit the lucky trail, ending his 18-year-long wait.
Every DSF, Ghadban bought the raffle coupons – initially with his own children’s names and then later on with the names of his grandchildren. Almost disheartened, he decided to not participate this year, but little did he know that fate was already on its way to change the course of his life. During a usual trip to a petrol station, Ghadban saw the raffle booth but did not go inside to buy the ticket to enter the Infiniti Mega Raffle draw. However, an employee walked towards his car and persuaded him to purchase it.
“I told him that I am never lucky with these raffles — I have been buying them for several years now. I don’t think I want to waste my money anymore after having spent so much over the years already. But the guy said that it might be lucky this time and convinced me to buy the raffle coupon,” said Ghadban.
The momentous news came when he was visiting a friend with his wife and was unaware of the numerous calls that he received from his son due to his phone being on the silent mode. Ghadban’s son finally called his mother enquiring about where his father was. When Ghadban spoke to his son, he asked him if he had bought an Infiniti Mega Raffle and then informed him that he had won it, as told to him by one of his friends who was watching the draw live on TV.
Ghadban could not believe his son until he himself received a call from the Global Village, congratulating him for his grand win.
“I could not stop to think that I have been trying for all these years but luck was never by my side but 2014 is auspicious for me. I am very happy to receive the prize money. It’s a blessing for me, especially at a time when prices are soaring and expenses are aplenty. I am considering the prize as a gift from God who has finally rewarded me for my patience,” he added.
Speaking about what he intends to do with the fortune that has a total value of Dh500,000, he said, “My wife is suggesting that we buy a small flat with the money because the rents are increasing by the day. I am retiring after two years and I do not want to depend on my children for financial support. I will use the money towards my expenses for that phase because I won’t have a stable income to support me and my wife,” he said.
“I am also very thankful to the Government of Dubai for organising this event that transforms the lives of several individuals for the better. I also want to thank the gentleman who pulled out my name in the draw, even though I don’t know him,” said Ghadban gratefully.
He also hopes to meet His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, one day to thank him for his commitment towards the development of Dubai.
“Maybe one day I will get the opportunity to interact with His Highness Shaikh Mohammed. I’d like to thank him for the great life we are living under his leadership,” he added.