Thanks to bingo and decades of perseverance, a retired seaman from Negros Occidental hit the winning combination for Mega Lotto 6/45 with a jackpot prize worth P73.4 million.
"Twenty years na po akong tumataya ng lotto. Yung number na lumabas ay dalawang taon ko ng alaga. Naisipan ko po dati na kunin ang mga numbers sa bingo. Ang ginawa ko po ay inilagay ko po sa isang bote yung number 1 to 45 saka po ako kumuha ng anim na numero at yun po ang palagi kung tinatayaan na sa lotto. Salamat naman sa Diyos at natsambahan ko din (I have been betting on the lottery for twenty years. The numbers that were drawn were my constant combination for two years. I had this idea of getting the numbers from bingo. What I did was put the numbers one to 45 in a bottle and took six numbers from it, and that has since then been my lotto combination whenever I play. Thank God that I was able to hit it)," said the winner in an interview with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
After claiming his winnings at the PCSO Main Office in Mandaluyong City, the new millionaire also told the agency that he plans on upgrading his small sari-sari store, putting up his own business in his province, and saving parts of his millions for the future of his family.
"Minsan lang mangyari ito kaya dapat ingatan ang pera para di maubos agad. Mahirap po maging mahirap (This happens rarely, so the money should be saved so it does not run out immediately. It is hard to be poor)," he said.
He was one of the two winners of the Mega Lotto jackpot drawn on Feb. 1.
Meanwhile, a 62-year-old retired government employee from Isabela also claimed his P5.9 million Lotto 6/42 jackpot drawn on Feb. 2 at the PCSO Office.
He said that his lucky digits were the birthdates of his parents and children.
"Yung napanalunan ko po ay para sa pag-aaral ng mga anak ko para maging maganda din ang future nila. Gusto ko din po mag-try ng business na may kinalaman sa farming kasi yun po ang hilig ko at malakas na negosyo sa probinsya po namin (My prize is for my children's education so that their future will be good. I also want to try a business related to farming because that is my passion and the most in-demand business in our province)," he told PCSO.
He then convinced the public to continue patronizing PCSO lotto games and to remain faithful in their hopes of winning the elusive jackpot.
"Pamilyar po ako sa mga programa ng PCSO kaya nagpapasalamat po ako dahil napakadami ng mga natutulungan ng inyong ahensiya lalo na yung mga may sakit ng cancer pati yung mga dialysis patients. Mabuhay po ang PCSO (I am familiar with PCSO's programs, so I am grateful because your agency helps many people, especially those with cancer and dialysis patients. Long live the PCSO), he added.
The agency reminded that prizes above P10,000 are subject to a 20 percent tax under the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion law.
Also, all winning tickets should be claimed within one year from the date of the draw or they will be forfeited by the PCSO Charter. (Luisa Cabato)