THE Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) in Negros Occidental is maintaining its tickets sales from lotto in the province, including Bacolod City, at an average of P18 million to P22 million every month.

This was disclosed Tuesday, October 4, by PCSO-Negros Occidental Branch Manager Jose Manuel Villagracia as he assured the public that lotto draws have no cheating or fraud.

"I will not be with the PCSO for about half of my life or 25 years if such fraud is happening. We would have been millionaires here at the PCSO if draws are rigged or manipulated. All bettors have the same chances of winning," Villagracia said.

He made the clarification amid the controversy over the winning of 433 bettors of the 6/55 Grand Lotto draw on October 1, 2022 which some public officials saw as unusual.

Villagracia disclosed that of the 433 grand prize winners, three were from Negros Occidental --- two in Bacolod City and one in Pontevedra.

One of them attempted to claim the prize in his office in Silay City on Monday, October 3, he said.

Villagracia, however, said their system or paying capacity could only generate up to P300,000 that's why the winners claimed their prizes at the PCSO Main Office in Mandaluyong.

Other winners from Western Visayas included seven in Iloilo and one each in Aklan, Capiz and Antique.

The grand prize worth P236 million Grand Lotto jackpot was divided to 433 winners. Each winner got P545,245.24, which is subject to a final tax of 20 percent.

The winning number combinations were 9-18-27-36-45-54.

"The PCSO's capital is the trust of the people and the chances of winning is always there," Villagracia further said.

He said those who would like to investigate the PCSO about the 6/55 draw are entitled to their opinion and that the agency welcomes such.

Villagracia said there was even a time in previous years when the PCSO was hit by a big winner on a Valentine's Day where the number combinations that came out was 1-4-3.

"That time the prize funds of the PCSO ran out and we even spent our operating funds to pay for the prizes of winners," he added.

"Luck is beyond science (because) that is an unexplained statistic," Villagracia further said.

Negros Occidental has 91 lotto outlets with 35 in Bacolod City.

The total sales of P18million to P22 million a month is generated from 200,000 bettors in Negros Occidental per month, he added.*