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Pimentel to seek Senate probe into 433 bettors winning the PCSO Grand Lotto

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Sunday said he would file a resolution seeking an investigation into how 433 bettors won the P236 million PCSO Grand Lotto jackpot.

Pimentel said the chances of over 400 people getting the same winning numbers was one in a billion.

“Kataka-taka 'yung resulta na ‘yan. 'Yung pagiging divisible by 9, ano lang ‘yun, independent event 'yan. Relationship between numbers lang ‘yan, pwedeng by accident,” he said.

(That result is intriguing. A winning combination being divisible by 9, may be just an independent event. That's just a relationship between numbers and can be by accident.)

“Pero 'yung 433 ang mananalo… supposed to be ang chances mo diyan, one in how many billions eh. Ibig sabihin, ganun dapat kahirap tamaan ‘yan. To say na 433 ang tumama, there is something suspicious,” he added.

(However, there were 433 winners. Their chances were supposed to be one in how many billions. That means it should be that hard to hit the jackpot. To say that 433 were able to do so, there is something suspicious about that.)

Saturday night's 6/55 lottery draw had a winning combination of 09-45-36-27-18-54. These are the first six multiples of the number nine.

The 433 winners will split the P236,091,188.40 prize.

The lawmaker said the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) had to be questioned if Saturday’s draw was a lucky pick as it may be “nothing random.”

“Siguro magpa-hearing na lang tayo diyan para tanungin natin ang PCSO kung mga lucky pick ba itong mga winners na ito. That means system generated 'yung number ng tumaya. Pero therefore, there is nothing random about their lucky pick, kasi ibig sabihin no’n, binigay nila sa 400 plus katao,” Pimentel said.

(Maybe we should just have a hearing so we can ask the PCSO if these winners were lucky picks. That means the bettor’s numbers were system generated. But therefore, there is nothing random about their lucky pick, because that means they gave it to 400 plus people.)

He explained that the purpose of the inquiry is to determine if the authorized gambling activities in the country have integrity.

“Statistically speaking, this is a very rare event na dapat siguro i-take advantage natin [we should take advantage of], take this opportunity to investigate. Ang purpose is to ensure the integrity of our games,” Pimentel continued.

Senator Risa Hontiveros backed this plan, saying it would help dismiss people’s doubts about the results of the Grand Lotto.

“We just want [to] rule out any doubts in the public mind that the results have been manipulated. While we recognize that people tend to bet in patterns, we also want to make sure the system is secure, free from glitches, and trustworthy,” she said in a statement. — DVM, GMA News