PASAY CITY (PilipinasNews) – A Filipino residing in New York and visiting the Philippines with his family since November 8 won the P741 million record prize of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office lottery.
The 60-year-old balikbayan, who bought his ticket at the Royal Duty Free Shop in Subic, claimed his prize, the biggest in Philippine lotto history, on Thursday at the PCSO office at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
He said he has no plans yet on what to do with the money, but added that portion will go to the education of his grandchilren by his three children.
The winner, who said he did not expect to win when he bought his ticket under the lucky pick of the machine at the NS Garcia outlet at the mall, will return to New York next week, but plans to come back to Manila to retire here, according to PCSO chairperson Margie Juico who handed the prize in two checks as requested by the winner.
“Sabi niya ito ang pangalawang beses niya na tumaya sa 6/55 tapos itong pangalawa nanalo siya. Parang katuwaan nilang mga magkakapatid at pinsan na tataya sila (He said it was his second time to bet on 6/55. For fun, he and his siblings and cousins played the lotto),” Juico said.
The winning balikbayan recounted to Juico and PCSO officials that while waiting in line, a woman suddenly cut in front of him and bought a ticket at the lotto counter. The woman also chose a lucky pick 6-number combination or a number that is randomly generated by computer.
“Ang sabi niya, Naku! Kung naghintay lang ang babae sana siya na ang nanalo (He said, if the woman had only waited she would have won the lotto jackpot),” Juico said.
The PCSO chief said the balikbayan also chose to get a luck pick combination that would win him the P741 million 6/55 Grand Lotto jackpot.
Juico said the balikbayan was wearing a white T-shirt, rubber shoes and long pants when he claimed the P741 million checks with his relatives.
An ABS-CBN report quoted Juico as saying that based on their conversation, she concluded that the man is a very religious person.
She said the balikbayan was in a religious pilgrimage and was praying before the Kamay Ni Hesus Shrine in Lucban, Quezon when he received a call from his relatives, telling him that he might have won the Grand Lotto jackpot.
Returning from the religious pilgrimage, the balikbayan’s wife eagerly asked him to check if he really won the lotto jackpot that was being sought by millions of Filipinos.
Juico said that according to the man, he asked his wife if he could just check the next morning because he was very tired and really needed to go to bed.
The next morning, the man compared his ticket with the winning combination published in a newspaper and confirmed that he had won the largest jackpot ever won in the Philippines.