Rags-to-riches stories dominate lotto millionaires' club

By Perseus Echeminada, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 02 2010 11:27 PM | Updated as of Dec 03 2010 07:27 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Officials of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) disclosed yesterday that many of the lucky winners of the online lottery draws that now belong to the so-called Lotto Millionaires Club are actually “rags to riches” stories.

A PCSO source cited the 51-year-old mayordoma or governess who previously worked for a wealthy family in Bacolod City, was wearing a pair of worn out slippers when she claimed the P140 million jackpot she won in 2000 at the former PCSO office at the old Quezon Institute compound along E. Rodriguez Blvd. in Quezon City.

PCSO officials are still waiting for the lone winner of the 6/55 Grand Lotto draw last Monday to collect the P741,176,323.20 jackpot after the lucky bettor bought a ticket at an Olongapo City lotto outlet with the winning number combination 11-16-42-47-31-37.

Sources said the Bacolod City mayordoma is now richer than her former masters.

The source said most of the members of the Lotto Millionaires Club were formerly poor citizens who became instant millionaires by betting on their favorite number combinations that represent significant dates in their lives like birthdays, wedding anniversaries, age of family members and even death anniversaries of their departed relatives.

The source said that the winner of the 741 million Grand Lotto jackpot used the lucky pick system where the computer picks the six-digit number combination, bought the winning ticket at a Nicetas Garcia lotto outlet inside the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) free port in Olongapo City.

A tricycle driver and his wife claimed the other day the P18 million jackpot of the 6/45 Mega Lotto draw held last Monday.

The winning couple collected the jackpot at the new PCSO office at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, after they picked the winning combination 21-12-42-01-11-07 with a P18,538,048.80 jackpot.

“We will buy a house and lot,” said the driver whose identity was withheld as a matter of policy of the PCSO.

The driver said he would also save money for his three children’s future.

PCSO sources said the first priority of most lotto winners is to buy a house and lot, a car and open a new savings account for their winnings.

“Most of them (winners) want to live on the interest of their savings,” he said.

He said a meat vendor from Camarines Sur who won the P145 million jackpot of the 6/49 Super Lotto draw in 2000 has not withdrawn his savings from the bank to live a simple life earning P80,000 a month from the interest of his jackpot.

A 61-year-old construction worker from Novaliches, Quezon City who won P249 million jackpot in 2008 has also deposited all his money in the bank. The winner who is single had left his old shanty and is now living with a niece in a new house.

A 56-year-old house helper from Mandaluyong City, a 31-year-old public school teacher from Quezon City, a retired policeman from Manila, and five other winners have claimed their share of P22.5 million each from the P180 million jackpot of the 6/49 Super Lotto draw on April 8, 2008.

The teacher who is single bought a single ticket worth P20 where she picked the number combinations that depicts important events in her life, while the retired policeman paid P120 for 10 number combinations and the house helper also placed a standard bet for her favorite number combination.

Among the jackpot winners is a retired employee from Cebu City who won P135 million in January 2003.

Two friends from Pagadian City who split the jackpot of P104 million, spent P8,000 for the systems bet to win the lotto.