P741-million lotto prize only to be released to winner with ticket

- Perseus Echeminada -

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) insisted yesterday that the P741,176,323.20 jackpot of the 6/55 Grand Lotto on-line lottery draw last Nov. 29 will only be released to the person who presents the authentic winning ticket, despite the recent claim of an 82-year-old grandmother that a relative stole her winning ticket.

Manny Garcia, PCSO publicity and advertising manager, said the issue raised by the old woman against her grandson who allegedly ran away with the winning ticket is a police matter and must be brought to court to stop the PCSO from releasing the jackpot.

“Only a court order can stop the claimant from getting the jackpot prize,” he said.

Garcia said the woman has sought the help of the PCSO to prevent the release of the jackpot, claiming that she is the legitimate owner of the winning ticket and that her grandson stole the ticket from her.

The woman from Olongapo City executed a sworn statement at the PCSO legal department but the agency cannot act on the complaint because it is a police matter.

A source said the woman, a widow of a World War II veteran, has been buying lotto tickets for several years.

The woman said that because of her age she often asked her grandson to buy lotto tickets at the Subic Bay Free Port in Olongapo City.

The PCSO said the ticket with the winning number combination 11-16-42-47-31-37 was sold by the lotto outlet owned by Necitas Garcia and located inside the Royal Duty Free at the Subic Bay Freeport in Olongapo City.

The winner of the Grand Lotto draw has not yet claimed the biggest lotto jackpot since the PCSO launched the on-line lottery in 1995.

“The old woman lives in a remote area so she has been dependent on her grandson,” the source said.

A day before the Grand Lotto draw, the old woman asked her grandson to buy four lotto tickets with regular bet and one ticket using the lucky pick.

She said her grandson only gave her four tickets and kept the last ticket. Her grandson and his family have reportedly disappeared after the lotto draw.

The disappearance of the grandson and his family had already been reported to the police and the old woman is now in Manila and hoping that her grandson will surface at the PCSO at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City to claim the prize.

Garcia said that a case must be filed before the court if the claimant wants to stop the PCSO from releasing the prize to the person who produces the genuine winning ticket.

“Show us your ticket and we will gave you the money,” Garcia said.

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