Diligence and luck: Businessman, swine raiser claim multi-million lotto prizes from PCSO 

Manila Bulletin file

After playing lotto games for years, the dedication and persistence of a businessman and a swine raiser finally paid off as they claimed their multimillion-peso winnings from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

PCSO, in separate announcements, said that the two Grand Lotto 6/55 jackpot winners claimed their prizes in its main office in Mandaluyong City this month.

First is the 40-year-old businessman from Cagayan De Oro who flew to Manila to claim half of the P142.5 million Grand Lotto 6/55 jackpot prize during the draw on Jan. 7.

The second is a 47-year-old swine raiser from Ibaan, Batangas claimed the jackpot prize of P29.7 million which he won during the Grand Lotto 6/55 draw on Jan. 21.

Long-time lotto players

Both winners, PCSO said, have been players of lotto games for years now.

The businessman, a bachelor, said he “does not bet frequently” and only bets when the jackpot hits large amounts.

PCSO Assistant General Manager for Gaming Sector Arnel A. Casas (left) hands over the check to the new Grand Lotto 6/55 millionaire from Cagayan De Oro. (Photo: Arnold T. Ramos / PCSO)

However, he has been playing for the lotto for over a decade now.

The swine raiser, a father of three, said he has been a diligent lotto player for almost a decade.

For the majority of his life, the swine raised has to deal with the hardships that come with his source of living. “Nakakapagod po, umikot na ang buhay ko sa pagbababuyan. Mahirap, mabaho. Kung hindi sisipagan walang pambiling pagkain (It's tiring, my life has revolved around swine raising. It's hard, it stinks. If you don't work hard, you won't buy food),” he shared.

Amid the hardships, playing lotto games gave the swine raiser hope as he dreamt of getting lucky one day.

“Pinangarap ko talagang yumaman para magbago naman ang aking pamumuhay. Maraming salamat po sa Panginoon at dininig po aking panalangin (I really dreamed of getting rich so that my life could change. I thank the Lord for hearing my prayers),” he said.

A dose of luck

While the two players have spent years playing the lotto, they both “felt lucky” after getting the winning numbers right.

The businessman claimed he “randomly chose” the winning number combination 44-13-19-33-27-39.

“Ginuhit-guhitan ko lang po yung mga kursunada kong numbers at sa awa ng Diyos binigay nya sa akin ang blessings na ito sa loob ng halos 15 years kong pagtaya sa lotto (I just drew my lucky numbers and by God's mercy he gave me these blessings during my almost 15 years of betting on the lottery),” he said.

The swine raiser, on the other hand, revealed that his winning combination 03-44-10-13-23-11 came from the system’s lucky pick.

PCSO Assistant General Manager Gaming, Product Development, and Marketing Sector Arnel N. Casas (left) hands over the check to the winner of the Grand Lotto 6/55 jackpot prize drawn on Jan. 21, 2023. The winner was from Ibaan, Batangas.   (Photo: Ericson Delos Reyes / PCSO)

“Bale pag ako po ay nataya ng lotto eh ako po ay may alagang 2 kombinasyon tapos kasunod po neto ay lucky pick na (When I play lotto, I have been using two combinations then I bet on the lucky pick),” he said.

He cried out in relief upon learning that the his winning combination hit the jackpot. “Sa tagal ko po inaalagaan ang aking numero ay nakakagulat po na ang tumama pa ay yung lucky pick (I have been betting using my own numbers but it's surprising that the lucky pick was the one that hit),” he added.

For the future

Both winners plan to use their winnings to ensure a brighter future for their families.

The swine raiser said that he will utilize his winnings to prepare for the future of his three children.

“Gagamitin ko po ang aking napanalunan para sa kinabukasan ng aking pamilya (I will use what I won for the future of my family),” he said. A part of the jackpot prize will be used for the educational plans of his children while the rest will be used as an investment for a business.

The businessman, on the other hand, also plans to invest his earnings in his business and build his own family by marrying his fiancé.

“Ipang-pupuhunan ko ito sa aking business at sa wakas meron na din budget para sa pagpapakasal namin ng aking fiancé (I will invest it in my business and finally, my fiancé and I now have budget for our wedding),” he added.

The jackpot winner also intends to share his blessings to help those who were affected by the flooding in Mindanao, particularly the residents of Misamis Occidental.

The new millionaires also expressed gratitude to PCSO for the blessings they received and urged the public to continue patronizing its games.

Meanwhile, PCSO General Manager Melquiades A. Robles also encouraged the public to continue their support and patronage of all the gaming products of PCSO --- including Lotto and Small Town Lottery (STL).

Aside from giving opportunities for the bettors to become millionaires, the funds generated in these games are also used for the agency’s charity programs.

For security purposes, the PCSO withholds the identity of the winners.

PCSO also releases the lotto jackpot prizes at the PCSO main office located on Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City.

Winners must present the winning ticket and two (2) valid government IDs in claiming their prizes.

As per Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, a 20-percent percent tax is automatically deducted from prizes above Php10,000.

Under Republic Act 1169, the lotto ticket has one-year validity from the draw date.

Unclaimed prizes after one year will be forfeited to form part of the PCSO Charity Fund used for indigents, individuals, and institutions in need of financial and medical assistance.