After the results of the Grand Lotto draw on Saturday, where 433 players won, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) reassured the public about the integrity of its lotto games and added that it is normal for a large number of players to bet on the same set of “lucky” lotto numbers. This was in response to the fact that the draw took place on a Saturday.

“It’s a normal occurrence na may nag-aalaga (ng numbers) at maraming nananalo kapag tinamaan ‘yon… In a press event held on Sunday, PCSO general manager Mel Robles remarked, “We are in fact thrilled that a large number of people have volunteered, especially for the Christmas season.”

[It is a natural occurrence that there are people who bet on the same numbers, and a great number of people would win if those numbers were drawn…] [Translation: In point of fact, given how close Christmas is, we are ecstatic that so many people were successful.]

“It so occurred na marami nga ang tumaya noon [that many gambled on that]. Marami talagang nag-aalaga diyan [a lot of people are really betting on the same lotto numbers],” he noted, “as seen by the pattern of prior bets, the same combinations, we track them.”

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The official from the PCSO also said that they know the places where the winners placed their bets and that it was “widespread all throughout the Philippines.” He or she noted that this information was revealed.

The winning lotto combination was 09-45-36-27-18-54, and many online commenters noted that each number in it could be divided by nine.

According to the Philippine Gaming Management Corporation (PGMC), the number “9” is extremely well-liked by gamblers all around the world, with the exception of one country.

“When it comes to the lottery, people all over the world put a lot of stock in the number nine, also known as “Lucky 9.” According to PGMC’s Tito Villarino, who, according to Robles, is an expert on international lottery, the information “only shows that it’s not only here in the Philippines but worldwide, the number nine is very lucky lotto numbers for all the betting public, except for Japan because they have a different culture,” said Robles. Villarino is a specialist in international lottery.

Additionally, the PCSO emphasized that the drawing of the winning lotto numbers cannot be manipulated in any way.

“Every draw operation, with the exception of the live telecast that’s happening right now, there will still be auditors, most notably from the COA” (Commission on Audit). Arnel Casas, assistant general manager of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) for the gaming, product development, and marketing sector, stated that “Yon po ang nagwi-witness and sine-certify ‘yung draw proceedings natin.”

[This means that all of our draw operations, in addition to being shown live on television, are also overseen by auditors, in particular from the COA, who observe and certify our draw proceedings.]

An Investigation on the Gaming Activity at PCSO

The recent outcome of the Grand Lotto, according to Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, was described as “odd and peculiar,” and Pimentel hinted that he may introduce a resolution to examine the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s (PCSO’s) gaming practices.

Because, from a statistical point of view, this is an extremely unusual thing, a great number of people were confused and surprised by it. “Talagang marami po ang nagtaka, na medyo nagulat” Let us make the most of this occasion to conduct an investigation so that we can fulfill our mission of protecting the fairness of our lottery games, he suggested.

“I will file a resolution because this is my worry, the Republic of the Philippines has given its approval for these lotto games. Therefore, it is necessary for us to preserve and guard the integrity of these gambling games, which we have given permission to operate,” he continued.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros, the Deputy Minority Leader, has also voiced her support for an investigation into the “unusual results” of the most recent draw.

“All we want to do is make sure there are no lingering suspicions in the minds of the general people that the results have been tampered with. “While we are aware that people have a propensity to gamble in patterns, one of our primary goals is to guarantee that our platform is reliable, error-free, and safe,” she explained.

Robles stated that the PCSO is pleased with the investigation and that they intend to share the same data that has been shown to the media. He also expressed gratitude to Pimentel for his watchfulness.

The general manager of the PCSO was quoted as saying that “the interest of the people is at stake,” and that “that” is part of their job description: to make sure that “we” are functioning appropriately for the welfare of the people.

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