MANILA, Philippines - A state gaming official rejected Thursday speculation that the 6/55 Grand Lotto is rigged after no one won last night's P633 million jackpot.
Jose Ferdinand Rojas II, general manager of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), said his office is pushing for greater transparency of the lotto draws because of the size of the lotto pot. He said he expects the jackpot to hit at least P685 million for next draw on Saturday night.
Starting Friday, the lotto draws will be done in a room with glass walls at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
Lotto draws are also aired live on the government-owned National Broadcasting Network. Before the winning combinations are drawn, all balls bearing the numbers are weighed, which is witnessed by representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry.
"Meron tayong mga observers. All can go to [watch the] lotto draw. Nandiyan ang Commission on Audit from a few hours before the draw up to the actual draw. Open and transparent sa maraming tao," Rojas told radio dzMM.
No limiting jackpot prize
The PCSO official also rejected a proposal by Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone to limit the lotto jackpot to P500 million and just donate the prize to charitable institutions if nobody wins.
Rojas said that before the resolution is approved by Congress, it should pass through a public hearing and consultations with stakeholders.
He said that the law provides that the lotto jackpot prize should be limitless.
Evardone earlier said the resolution seeks to arrest the growing culture of gambling among Filipinos. He said the higher the pot, the more people are enticed to try their luck.
Rojas said the chances of winning the lotto jackpot is one of 28.9 million. To ensure the win, you would have to spend P580 million to place bets on all 28.9 million combinations.
However, he noted: "As the pot gets bigger, the probability of having a winner or more than one winner becomes greater because there are more people trying to get a wager on the draw."
"Kapag tinayaan mo lahat iyan, puwedeng more than one winner."
Under Office of the President
Meanwhile, Rojas denied rumors that the Office of the President is interested in taking a piece of the highest lotto jackpot prize.
These rumors came up after Malacañang issued Executive Order No. 14, which reverts control of the PCSO from the Department of Health to the Office of the President.
Rojas said that it was just a coincidence, adding that he and PCSO Chairwoman Margarito Juico have been working on placing the agency back under the supervision of the Office of the President since they were appointed to their positions.