The largest lottery jackpot in the history of the Philippines was recently won by a player that has yet to be identified. The jackpot, which has been building without a win for over six months, paid 741 million pesos (16.8 million dollars) on a game called Lucky Pick. The numbers game has over 29 million possible outcomes, and the winner managed to choose the right one.
Even though nobody knows who the winner is, everyone seems to have advice. Crowds of people are hanging around the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) hoping to catch a glimpse of the winner. Local celebrities are urging the winner to build schools, or to donate some of the money to charity. But not everyone is positive – the lotto winner is already receiving threats.
Archbishop Oscar Cruz yesterday urged the winner to flee the country. “It’s best for the person and his family to hide and go abroad rather than stay here and be recognized by people,” he said. The bishop believes that once the winner’s identity is known, the person will be in danger of being kidnapped or threatened for money.
Cruz is the founder of both the People’s Movement against Jueteng (an illegal numbers game played in the Philippines) and the People’s Movement against Gambling. In June 2010 he called for the disbanding of Philippine gambling monopoly PAGCOR. “PAGCOR is a government corporation,” Cruz said. “It makes the government itself a social malediction for promoting corruption, indolence and dependence among the people.”