55-year-old UAE resident and Lebanese Canadian architect Bassem Itani claimed AED 111,111 from an Emirates Loto draw on 11 July 2020, and only one month later, learned of his relatives’ misfortune when they were caught up in the blast that shook Beirut.
“I didn’t think twice about helping my family in Lebanon when disaster struck last month. The devastation that was caused is still so upsetting to see; like many in this region who have sent relief home, I hope my support goes far in helping my family to rebuild their lives,” said Bassem.
A resident of the UAE for 17 years, Bassem sees the UAE as ‘a country that offers great opportunities to people who work hard’ and plans to stay here for the foreseeable; Bassem feels that the UAE offers unrivalled safety for him and his immediate family.
Married with two children, Bassem also allocated a large share of the funds for support towards their college and school fees. “I am a huge fan of the UAE; Emirates Loto has been really good to me. I plan to keep playing when the draws return and if I ever win again I will continue to be good to the world in the same way the world has been good to me.”
Choosing to stay in his role as an architect, Bassem would have liked to have used some of his good fortune to travel: “Maybe if I’d have won Emirates Loto at a time when there wasn’t a pandemic causing such disruption, I could have taken a world tour. I guess my own savings and plans can wait! Family will always come first.”
Emirates Loto is set to re-launch soon and continues to work behind the scenes ahead of its first draw. Emirates Loto will also continue to support communities across the UAE and beyond through philanthropic and CSR initiatives that are aligned with its corporate mission and values.