‘Strange and unusual’ punishment for Filipino lottery winners

There are some easy ways NOT to win your national lottery. The easiest way not to win is to play the numbers 1-2-3-4-5-6 – or however many numbers your particular lottery demands.

That particular sequence of numbers is no more likely or unlikely to arise than any other, yet it is the most played set of numbers in all lotteries, worldwide. Generally, it is the choice of cynics who see no criteria for choosing one particular number over another. Sad to say, your grandmother or pet tarantula’s birthdays are no more likely to come up than any other of the 31 days available. There are no “lucky numbers,” though more than 400 Filipino gamblers will agree that there certainly are some unlucky ones.

A “strange and unusual” lottery draw in the Philippines recently led to 433 people winning with a combination of numbers that were all multiples of nine.

A prize of 236 million pesos (US$4 million) will be split between the winners, with each receiving about 545,000 pesos (US$9,300), subject to taxes, for picking the numbers 09, 45, 36, 27, 18 and 54 during the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) grand lotto draw last Saturday.

'Strange and unusual' punishment for Filipino lottery winners | News by Thaiger
One of more than 400 tickets that won last week’s Philippines lottery.

The result triggered inevitable speculation on social media that the draw was rigged, probably from those innocents who don’t believe that every draw is rigged.

The minority leader, Aquilino Pimentel III, described the result as “strange and unusual” and said he would call for an audit of the PCSO activities.

Pimentel, demonstrating an almost total lack of the most basic statistical competence, said…

“Many were really puzzled and surprised because statistically speaking, this is a very rare event.”

The PCSO shared pictures on social media of people queueing to collect their prizes, holding their winning tickets and rejecting allegations of irregularities.

Koko Pimentel - Wikipedia
Pimentel called the result “strange and unusual.”

The Rappler news website said…

“We would like to assure the public that the PCSO is honest about its responsibility and mandate to conduct games that are trustworthy, have integrity, utmost sincerity and transparency.”

In a statement on Facebook, Melquiades Robles, PCSO general manager, said…

“The lottery is a game of chance, nothing is definite and it is uncontrollable. To the 433 new jackpot winners, it pays to be loyal.”

World News

Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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