433 bettors won the Grand Lotto jackpot last Saturday, October 1, 2022. Where do they come from and how did they win?
According to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), the winners will split the jackpot prize of P236,091,188.40 for the winning combination 09-45-36-27-18-54, lucky numbers that are all divisible by 9 — a result that is now overshadowed by a cloud of doubt.
In a Facebook post, the PCSO revealed that the 433 winning lotto tickets were bought in Metro Manila (152), Cavite (34), Rizal (22), Bulacan (21), Laguna (21), Batangas (14), Cebu (14), Pampanga (13), Benguet (10), Iloilo (10), Leyte (7), Albay (7), Misamis Oriental (6), Davao Del Sur (5), Isabela (5), Negros Oriental (5), Quezon Province (5), Zambales (5), Bataan (4), Bohol (4), Tarlac (4), Aklan (3), Ilocos Norte (3), La Union (3), Negros Occidental (3), Palawan (3), Zamboanga Del Sur (3), Cagayan Valley (2), Eastern Samar (2), Marinduque (2), Misamis Occidental (2), Mountain Province (2), Nueva Ecija (2), Oriental Mindoro (2), South Cotabato (2), and 1 ticket each from the provinces of Agusan Del Sur, Antique, Aurora, Biliran, Bukidnon, Camarines Norte, Capiz, Ilocos Sur, Lanao Del Norte, Maguindanao, Nueva Vizcaya, Occidental Mindoro, Western Samar, Sorsogon, Southern Leyte, Surigao Del Norte, Surigao Del Sur, Tuguegarao, Zamboanga Del Norte, and Zamboanga Sibugay.
Statistically, this is the first in Philippine history that such number of winners bagged the jackpot considering that the chance to win the game is "one in how many billions." Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel described it as "a rare event." The lawmaker called on filing a resolution for a Senate inquiry, in aid of legislation, to investigate the controversial Grand Lotto game.
PCSO General Manager Mel Robles, on the other hand, said that it was a "natural occurence." During a press interview, he congratulated the jackpot winners and told them that "it pays to be loyal." He added that maintaining a set of numbers is a "playing habit" of lotto players.
Sources familiar to the lottery game said that the 433 Grand Lotto jackpot winners might have bought their winning tickets through a system called "Lucky Pick," which generates a six-number combination using the computer.
Meanwhile, some social media users came up with a hilarious hypothesis saying that the October 1 draw might have been "pre-recorded" hours before the scheduled live telecast and the results got "leaked" to those who won the jackpot. Fabricated and funny yet possible.