Working student: Maya’s new Merry Millionaire! |

L-R: Maya Marketing and Brand Head Sharon Kayanan, Merry Millionaire Christine Refrea (center), her parents, and Maya COO and Managing Director Paolo Azzola

Just by downloading the Maya app, Christine Joy Refrea, a 24 year-old working student from Laguna, won a million pesos in Maya’s Merry Millionaire promo.

Tin spends her weeknights doing 8-hour shifts at a nearby fast food chain. On Sundays, she finishes her Business Management degree at a local college. Prior to being a fast food service crew, Tin was a machine operator at a liquor factory. She paused from her studies after high school because her family lacked the finances. Now her salary pays for her school tuition, as well as her family’s electricity bill.

Tin comes from a tight-knit family. Her father is a tricycle driver while her mother is a stay-at-home entrepreneur. Tin downloaded the Maya app last year, which became her winning entry to Maya’s Merry Millionaire promo. “Nakita ko sa app store yung Maya tapos dinownload ko siya. Kasi may [prepaid] loading business kami, ‘tsaka alam ko na nagagamit siya sa pagbayad ng bills,” she said.

Asked about how she felt when she heard that she won a million pesos, “Akala ko po hindi totoo. Akala ko binibiro lang ako, tini-trip, kasi po mahilig mang-bully mga kaklase ko eh. Hindi po ako makapaniwala. Nalaman ko po na totoo nung nag-check na kami sa DTI at nung nakita ko yung post ng Maya sa Facebook,” Tin added.

Her mother, too, couldn’t believe the news. Marivic acknowledges that the decision on how to spend the winnings is up to her daughter but she knows that a million pesos could make a significant impact on her family’s future.

“Gagamitin ko po ‘to sa pag-aaral namin ng kapatid ko para po sigurado na makatapos kami,” Tin said. “Tapos papagawa ko po sana yung bahay namin. Maliit lang po kasi yung bahay namin. Papalagyan ko po ng second floor,” she added.

As a Business Management student, Tin also plans on investing in her own food venture so she and her family could make her money grow.

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