Ultra Lotto winner needed fare money to claim his prize

One of the two winners of the recent P1.12-billion Ultra Lotto 6/58 jackpot needed to borrow money for fare from his home in Samar to claim his share of the prize—P472 million after taxes—at the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office in Manila, an agency official said Friday.

The winner, described as a middle-aged family man “galing sa masa” (from the masses), arrived at the PCSO head office on Tuesday to claim his prize, said Arnel Casas, the state lottery operator’s assistant general manager for gaming.

He and another person bet on the winning combination of 40-50-37-25-01-45 in the Oct. 14 draw, which was the biggest pot in the history of Philippine lottery games.

The man from Samar and the other winner, reportedly from Albay province, were each entitled to a prize of P590,311,264, less 20 percent in taxes —hence the P472-million figure, Casas explained in an interview with radio dzMM.

“He now has more than enough blessings to pay back the person who lent him fare many times over,” the PCSO official said of the lucky winner, who was accompanied by a relative.

Casas said he hoped the man would take care of his winnings and start a business with it so he could create job opportunities for others.

In a separate interview, Florante Solmerin, PCSO deputy spokesperson, told GMA News Online winners of big jackpots usually didn’t wait long to claim their prizes.

“Sometimes they would take up to two weeks if they come from the provinces, but just days if they live here in Metro Manila,” Solmerin added.

The lottery agency has yet to receive word from the winner from Albay, he said.

Winners have a year from the date they won to claim their prizes, and unclaimed prizes will go to the PCSO charity fund. Solmerin said as much as P2.5 billion worth of prizes could go unclaimed in a year. Jimbo Gulle

Topics: Ultra Lotto 6/58 , Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office , Arnel Casas
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