Bankrupt Pipeline Worker in Philippines Back To Life in N161m Lottery Win

Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office

A former pipeline worker who could not pay the amortisation of his house for several years won a P45 million (about N161m) jackpot from a state-run lottery, a local paper said.

The 56-year-old winner, whose name was not released, said a government lawyer during a court case settlement told him the only way he could pay a debt of 300,000 pesos (about N1m) for the amortisation of his house in suburban Caloocan was with a lottery win.

Ferdinand Rojas, General Manager of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) that runs the lotto games, said the winner told him the comment gave him an idea.

“Every day I kept a portion of what I earned from doing odd jobs to bet on the lotto,” Rojas quoted the winner as saying.

Using the birth date of his grandchild on a random pick system, he placed bets of 30 pesos on a combination of six numbers — 34-37-17-09-14-21 — and won PCSO’s draw last April 29, said Rojas, adding the winner took his cheque from the PCSO’s office several days after the draw.

“I will redeem my house from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), build a row of apartments, invest on the transportation industry, and share the jackpot money with my three children,” the winner was also quoted as saying.

He is married with three children and was one of thousands of employees who lost their jobs when the National Waterworks and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) was privatised in 1997, said Rojas.

“After winning in lotto’s five number digit draw once, he always felt that he was going to win the lotto jackpot one day,” said Joseph Muego, PCSO media officer.

The winner brought his wife when he collected his check from PCSO. The government-run agency does not reveal the names of lotto winners. The state does not oblige winner to pay excise tax from lotto jackpot.