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Defaced Lotto ticket keeps Batangas man from becoming a multimillionaire

Even with several lawmakers on his side, Calaca, Batangas resident Antonio Mendoza is not getting his P12 million, the amount he claimed to have won in a 6/42 Lotto draw earlier this month. At least not yet.

In a hearing Tuesday at the House of Representatives, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) acting chairman and general manager Ferdinand Rojas II said they are still deliberating on whether or not to give Mendoza his cash prize despite his burned winning ticket.

“Patuloy po naming tinatalakay ang kaso pero sa ngayon ay wala po tayong maipapangako sa pamilya Mendoza. Hindi po tayo pwedeng magdesisyon agad-agad sa kasong ito," Rojas told the House committee on games and amusement.

Rojas said they are awaiting the decision of their legal department and the approval of the Commission on Audit.

Mendoza, who claimed he won the October 2 Lotto draw, said his ticket was burned after his daughter, Roxanne Mendoza-Sandoval, ironed it in the hope of smoothening it after her baby crumpled it.

The ticket, which was made of thermal paper, got defaced despite Roxanne's claim that she placed a cloth over it while ironing it. Only portions of the three number combinations were clearly recognizable.


“We are strict with our rules that the ticket must be validated by our machines. Our terms and conditions clearly state that the ticket must be readable, must not be defaced or tampered," Rojas said.

“And besides, even if we grant the prize to Mendoza, pwede pa rin i-disallow ng COA,” Rojas added.

Rojas said they are very strict with the rule that the ticket must be validated by the PCSO machine as there were many people posing as winners presenting fake tickets.

Rojas, however, admitted that the ticket presented by Mendoza was a “genuine PCSO-generated ticket, but it was not readable anymore.”

Rojas also denied earlier report that the prize may be granted to Mendoza if no one claims it after a year.

“Based on our policy,  unclaimed prizes must go to the PCSO's charity funds,” he said.


During the hearing, Mendoza cried while recounting the unfortunate incident. He also expressed exasperation over PCSO's slow action on the case.

“Maari naman nilang i-check sa database nila. Siguro naman may record sila na sa ganitong oras may tumaya sa ganitong lugar ng ganitong winning combination,” Mendoza said.

“Sa totoo lang wala na kaming nakikitang pag-asa sa ngayon. Kasi yung after one year na pag walang nag-claim, hindi rin pala sigurado yun kung maibibigay ba sa'min,” he said.

Fermina Panganiban, the owner of the PCSO lotto outlet where Mendoza made the bet, likewise confirmed that the winning number combinations on October 2 came from her outlet.

She said there were P5,000 worth of tickets purchased from her outlet on Oct. 2 or roughly 250 tickets as each lotto ticket is purchased at P20.

Quimbo's advice

Meanwhile, in a chance interview after the hearing, Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo, a member of the committee, said Mendoza may elevate his case before the court by filing a breech of contract case against PCSO.

“A ticket is a form of contract kasi aside from the prize naka-state doon yung terms and conditions. To be specific, a ticket is a form of a contract of adhesion, meaning the terms and conditions are already laid out by one party and the other party has no choice but to comply,” Quimbo said.

He pointed out that under the law, a contract of adhesion is “strictly construed against the one who prepared it and liberally in favor of the person who just signed it.”

Quimbo also said the first four digits of each of the three winning combinations were still readable on the ticket as well as the time the bet was made.

“Imposible na hindi kayang i-trace ng PCSO kung sino yung may tatlong combination na ganun at tumaya ng ganong oras. Sigurado ako na iilan lang yan,” Quimbo said.

“And PCSO Lotto is a social program designed to be able to help people, so the strong wordings of the law must not kill the spirit or the objective of the law,” he added. —KBK, GMA News

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