Manila, Philippines – A 60-year-old carpenter from Las Piñas City who also serves as a barangay tanod won the 6/55 Grand Lotto draw on Wednesday, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) announced.
The lucky bettor claimed his P356,552,917.20 jackpot prize at the PCSO office at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City yesterday, according to PCSO general manager Jose Fernandez Rojas II.
Rojas said the winner, who picked the six-digit winning combination 05-09-19-26-30-45, was accompanied by his two sons and some relatives when he claimed the prize.
Rojas said the winner, a laborer who lives in a shanty in a squatter area in Almanza II, only spent P20 for the ticket that showed a combination taken from the birthdays of his family members and other significant events.
It was gathered that the winner, whose name was withheld for security reasons, is married with six children.
The winner said they immediately left their shanty upon learning they hit the jackpot and will use the money to settle down and buy a house and lot in their home province of Bicol.
His neighbors in Almazan said the family has not returned to their shanty since yesterday, triggering rumors that they won the lotto jackpot.
“Sana bumalik siya para may balato kami (I hope he will return to share his winnings),” one of the neighbors said.
The winner did not say if he would return to his shanty in Las Piñas where they stayed for the last three years.
Leo Imatani, owner of the lotto outlet that sold the winning ticket, said he already had a hunch that one of his bettors won the jackpot prize.
He said the lucky ticket was bought at about 5 p.m. on Wednesday by one of the bettors who even tried to beat the deadline.
“The line was long and I felt that somebody will win in our place,” Imatani said.
At about 9 p.m. when the lotto was drawn live on television, Imatani claimed hearing shouts and yelling at a nearby compound in Almazan.
Imatani said he simply ignored the commotion, thinking that it could be someone quarreling.
The following morning, Imatani said he was informed by the PCSO that his outlet sold the winning ticket. He said he would get P500,000 as incentive for selling the winning ticket.
The previous winner of the 6/55 draw was a 60-year-old balikbayan who bought his ticket at a shopping mall in Olongapo City. He won the biggest jackpot so far at P741 million in November last year.