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PCSO submits names of lotto winners to Senate panel

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) on Thursday submitted to the Senate the list of names of lotto winners from July 2023 to January 30,2024.

This after Senator Raffy Tulfo, who leads the Senate Games and Amusement Committee hearing on the integrity of PCSO games, requested last week the documents on the lotto games, including the tax records, of the jackpot winners.

Lyssa Grace Pagano, chief of staff of PCSO General Manager Mel Robles, submitted the documents inside a brown envelope.

Aside from the list of lotto winners, the PCSO also submitted what it called an "alpha list" or record of taxes that were paid by the jackpot winners from July 1,2023 to December 2023.

Tulfo assured the PCSO that they will treat the documents as confidential and they will only use it for the Senate panel's review.

The Senate committee has been investigating the recent PCSO games amid allegations of "manipulation" and senators' questions on the frequent winnings of lotto games with huge amounts of jackpot prizes.

In the last Senate hearing, Robles denied that the PCSO manipulated the results of a recent 6/49 Grand Lotto draw which was won by a single person.

“We would like to assure you that you can never, never manipulate it. Kaya nga allowed kami mag-bet, Mr. Chair. Even I can bet because it’s beyond me. Even if we wanted to, with the system we have, we cannot,” Robles said.

“I take exception na kayang panalunin. Definitely, madami pong tatayo kung malaki ang jackpot. ‘Yun po naman ang objective namin– to really bring in bettors,” the PCSO official added.

The PCSO augmentation that significantly raised the amount of the lotto prize jackpots was also questioned in the previous committee hearing.

Robles explained that there was a surplus fund to augment the lotto prizes and they did it as a “marketing campaign” to encourage the public to place their bets for higher prizes. He added that in the last 30 days, the funds that they used to augment the prize were returned to the PCSO.—RF, GMA Integrated News