Labourer plans mosque with his Dh1m winnings
Last Updated: October 23. 2009 11:45PM UAE / October 23. 2009 7:45PM GMT ABU DHABI // Two days ago, Tayib Abdul Samad was earning a modest Dh1,000 per month toiling in the heat as a construction worker.
Yesterday morning, he woke up a rich man after winning Dh1 million (US$270,000) through Etisalat’s “24 Millionaires” campaign, an electronic draw held every week for users of pre-paid mobile phones.
With that money, Mr Abdul Samad, 59, could retire and spend his days relaxing after decades of work.
Instead, he says, he will continue working and spend most of his new-found wealth building a mosque, named after himself, in his home country of Bangladesh.
He will also make a trip home to visit his wife and three children, whom he has not seen in four years.
“I am very happy, and very grateful to Allah for this reward,” said Mr Abdul Samad, who works for a construction company in al Ain.
He has lived and worked in the UAE for 19 years. On his monthly income of Dh1,000, it would have taken him more than 83 years to earn Dh1m.
“I want to keep working and, at the same time build my mosque back home, and then what is left, I will give to my family,” he said.
He was automatically entered into the draw when he recharged his account with Dh100 to call his family. He will receive his money in 12 days.
Each week there are two winners; the other this week was Mohammed Salem Alaryani, an Emirati from Al Ain. He said he had been more confident of a win.
“I had a strong feeling that I will be one of the Etisalat winners from the very beginning,” said Mr Alaryani, who works in Abu Dhabi.
“I was so confident that I kept on recharging my account every week. My intuition about this was so strong that I had even told my family about it.
“Now that I have won, I will repay my loans and after that I will definitely go for Haj with this money.”
The 16 winners to date have come from the UAE, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Uganda and Pakistan.
The campaign continues until November 14.