Anabelle Manalastas usually keeps her phone mute while working as nurse in a government hospital in Abu Dhabi.
But yesterday, she turned the volume on.
Then a call came.
“Hello, there. Is this Anabelle?” a male voice said.
“Yes,” she replied.
Then the conversation, which is aired live on Facebook and Youtube and before thousands of live audience outside the Abu Dhabi International Airport, goes:
M: “What day is today? What day of the month is it today ”
A: “It’s December 3.”
M: “What happens on December 3 normally?
A: It’s Big Ticket
(The crowd roars)
M: Do you know who you are talking to, Anabelle?
A: Is this Richard? (gasping)
M: You are talking to Richard. And all my friends, give Anabelle a shout!
(The crowd roars again)
A: Come again?
A: Yes, I’m still here speaking.
M: Anabelle, you have just won 12 million dirhams!!!!
A: I cannot believe it!
M: Anabelle, if I have won like you, I would have sounded just like you. You are amazing. You’ve just won 12 million dirhams!
A: Thank you, thank you so much.
M: You just changed your life with 12 million dirhams!
Anabelle cries. She couldn’t believe it. The Abu Dhabi Big Ticket raffle is the largest and longest-running raffle draw for cash prizes and dream luxury cars in the emirates.
Anabelle’s ticket no. 283702 was picked from thousands of tickets raffled off for the Dh12 million (Php166,867,200) grand prize.
The Abu Dhabi expat, who started working in Abu Dhabi in 2011, said she just finished the rosary right when Richard called.
Anabelle was with her friends who were ecstatic, one of them was heard saying “Nanalo ka!” when Richard started calling him.
The Pinay said she and her friends would share the Big Ticket jackpot because they shared the money to buy the tickets and they have been doing this for the past four years. Last July, one of her friends migrated to the US and they decided to put in her last contribution to buy tickets last November 29.
“I usually don’t use phone when I am working. Also I had seen that the winners are usually hard to contact. So I also tried to ignore my phone. And then Alhamdullilah my phone rang. It was Richard. I heard the cheer of the crowd. And I knew I was the big winner,” Anabelle said.
Khaleej Times reported that Anabelle’s mother has passed away. She has her father and siblings back in the Philippines. However, she has no plans to return anytime soon. “I had no plans as to what I intended to do with the money. But I had always planned, that if I continue to work even if I win the raffle.”
Watch the live feed here: