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PCSO says viral lotto winner photo is real; admits ‘poor editing’

PCSO General Manager Mel Robles said the photo of the lotto winner is authentic but was edited to protect her identity. PHOTO: PCSO

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) on Thursday confirmed that it edited the viral photo of a Lotto 6/42 jackpot winner who claimed more than P43 million in order to protect her identity. 

PCSO General Manager Melquiades 'Mel' Robles said the photo was authentic during the hearing of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means after he was questioned by Senator Raffy Tulfo.

“We have to protect the identity of the winner. Meron pong nag-reklamo sa amin one time. We covered the face. Eh ‘yung damit naman po ay nakilala. So, nagreklamo siya, sana naman daw po ‘wag ipakita naman po ‘yung damit. ‘Yan ang reason niyan,” Robles added.

(Someone complained to us one time. We covered the face but the winner’s clothes were recognizable. The winner asked us if we could not show the clothes.)

The viral social media post was that of the winner from San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan who claimed the Lotto 6/42 jackpot worth P43,882,361.60 at the PCSO Main Office on December 28, 2023.

The 47-year-old housewife correctly guessed the winning numbers, 18-34-01-11-28-04, which she based on the birthdays of family’ members and added two 'special' numbers, 28 and 34.

Robles apologized for the photo which he admitted the PCSO edited “poorly.”

“I agree, it’s very poor editing, but the objective is to conceal the clothing na ma-identify sa kanya [that would be identified to her],” he explained.

“If there's something we apologize for, it’s the poor editing, but it serves the purpose of concealing the identity… We’re sorry we’re not very good at editing the clothes. Tunay na tao po ‘yan [That is a real person’],” he added.

Tulfo presided over the panel hearing in a bid to prohibit the online placing of bets for all Lotto games.

The senator said that Senate Bill No. 2374 filed in August 2023 aims to "safeguard public welfare, protect vulnerable individuals, and encourage responsible gambling practices, thereby contributing to a safer and more regulated landscape in the nation."—RF, GMA Integrated News