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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

PCSO submits list of top lotto winners from July ‘23 to January to Tulfo panel

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THE Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has submitted to the Senate the list of jackpot lotto winners from July 2023 to Jan. 30, 2024.

This developed as the Senate Committee on Games and Amusement headed by Senator Raffy Tulfo resumed its inquiry into perceived irregularities in the conduct of the PCSO’s lotto draws.

Tulfo sought last week the submission of pertinent documents on the lotto games, including the tax records, and the list of jackpot winners.

Lyssa Grace Pagano, chief of staff of PCSO general manager Melquiades Robles, delivered the documents to the Senate.

Aside from the list of lotto winners, the PCSO also turned over a so-called “alpha list” or record of taxes collected from the jackpot winners from July 1,2023 to December 2023.

Tulfo assured the PCSO that the documents would be treated in confidentiality and would only be used for his panel’s review.

The Senate committee has been looking into the recent PCSO games following allegations of “manipulation” and senators’ questions on the frequent winnings of lotto games involving huge amounts of jackpot prizes.

Robles denied during the last hearing that the PCSO manipulated the results of a recent 6/49 Grand Lotto draw won by a single bettor.

The senators also question the purported PCSO augmentation that significantly raised the amount of the lotto prize jackpots.

Robles explained that the PCSO has a surplus fund to enhance the lotto prizes, adding 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.

During the hearing, Tulfo suggested however, that several measures that would help improve the integrity of the games, including changing the assigned person who has access to the root of the lotto system and the immediate declaration of a winner in every lotto draw, if there is any.

At present, the PCSO general manager and the assistant general manager hold the “root access” to the system. 

Tulfo suggested that the access be limited to PCSO chairman Junie Cua and Robles.

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