MOVE over, lotto. Sports is back.
While lotto is but a dream, not sports.
The millions in lotto are nearly impossible to win. Not the millions waiting to be won in sports.
The just ended Tokyo 2020 Olympics proved that.
Of our 19 gritty Olympians, four won medals that stupendously translated into oodles of cash and left the winners tongue-tied like bar topnotchers.
Of 11 events that we competed in, two took four medals, although our bets in gymnastics, pole vault, skateboarding, rowing and golf did not disappoint.
Hidilyn Diaz nabbed the Games’ priciest medal with her weightlifting gold. Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam won each a boxing silver and Eumir Marcial a boxing bronze.
Their feats made them instant millionaires, with Hidilyn hauling off a fortune that is easily worth more than five lifetimes, courtesy of a government-decreed incentive and the combined astronomical bonuses from several billionaires led by Ramon S. Ang and Manny V. Pangilinan.
Petecio, Paalam and Marcial earned millions, too, plus a house each.
Not surprisingly, Hidilyn netted two houses in her hometown Zamboanga and in Tagaytay City and, yes, a P14.4 million, fully furnished condo at plush Eastwood in Quezon City. A car and a 13-seater van too.
Their exploits give them great pride so massively revered by an adoring public that correctly treats each Olympics medal as the truest test, the most magical moment, of sporting greatness.
They say luck happens because you make it happen. Well, in a sense, yes. You can’t win the lotto without buying a ticket. What sucks is the chances of winning the jackpot: slim and almost none.
But with the outstanding Olympic feats of Hidilyn & Co., the quartet made a screaming statement that sports can also be one’s path to a good life, if not a sure way out of life’s misery. Paalam successfully digging a ton of wealth in Tokyo 2020 meant goodbye from shoveling city refuse in his native Cagayan de Oro.
Even our 15 non-medalists in Tokyo can attest to sports’ money-making mantra. Their efforts did not go in vain as they were amply rewarded too. Weren’t they also lavished with cash windfalls by the government, the kind-hearted billionaires and several more so-called Good Samaritans?
And so, start lifting and boxing and be a millionaire. In short, go to sports. Lotto luck is as thin as air atop Mt. Apo.