MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) reiterated Wednesday its “no ticket, no prize” policy after noting loopholes in the story of an 82-year-old grandmother who surfaced at the government’s lottery agency to claim that she bought the ticket that won P714.17-million Grand Lotto jackpot last November 29.
PCSO Chairman Margarita P. Juico said the Grand Lotto’s 86th draw spanning six months and two weeks from May 15 to Nov. 29 generated the largest online lottery prize in the history of the agency.
The PCSO is now investigating the grandmother’s claim and asked her to provide more proof or details to back up her statement.
A lone “Lucky Pick” – computer-chosen numbers – ticket bought on the same day at the outlet of Nicetas Garcia at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) in Olongapo City, Zambales, won the enormous prize.
The Nov. 29 Grand Lotto draw came out with the winning combination 11-16-42-47-31-37, which carried the P741,176,323.20 bonanza.
Last Tuesday, the grandmother went to the PCSO for second time, claiming she asked her grandson to buy five lotto tickets for the 6/55 draw, with one of them turning out to be the winning ticket, she told PCSO officials.
One of the staff at the PCSO-Publicity and Public Relations Department (PCSO-PPRD) under Manager Manuel “Manny” C. Garcia who interviewed the grandmother’s niece narrated that it was the grandson who bought the ticket.
But in the affidavit executed before the Legal Department, she stated that she was the one who bought five tickets for the Grand Lotto. However, the winning ticket is with her grandson who left with his family.
Remeliza “Liza” Jovita M. Gabuyo, acting assistant general manager for On-Line Lottery Sector (PCSO-OLLS), said the grandmother “was not actually a claimant but went to the Legal Department to execute an affidavit that she gave the (winning) ticket to her grandson and her grandson is now missing.”
Gabuyo said the Legal Department has to investigate first the grandmother’s claim, an indication that the PCSO is not closing its doors on her.
Lawyer Lauro A. Patiag, Legal Department manager, told the Manila Bulletin that the PCSO cannot just give the prize to the grandmother as she does not have the winning ticket.
“PCSO’s standing policy is to give the prize to the holder of the winning ticket. No ticket, no prize,” said Patiag.
He said he asked the grandmother to execute an affidavit which she did.
“There are loopholes in her story as can be noted in her affidavit. I asked her to provide the details on when and where she bought the winning ticket she claimed to have bought,” the PCSO-Legal Department head said.
Patiag said that, for the sake of argument, even if her claim was true, she still could not claim the prize if she can not present the lotto ticket. He added that she presented what she said were the other tickets she bought, but the tickets’ date is Nov. 27, two days before the draw.