Briones: Lotto winners a ‘sham’

Publio J. Briones III
Publio J. Briones III

I woke up to what I had hoped to be an auspicious Friday and headed to the kitchen of my late grandmother’s eatery on J. Urgello St. to scrounge for breakfast.

It has become a daily ritual since my helper left me last October without any notice.

So right now I live next door, alone with my cats and some other cretins that normally inhabit the inner core of the city.

Trust me, it makes for an interesting living arrangement that offers many unwelcome surprises.

But anyway, there I was, trying to decide what to eat for my first meal of the day, and I couldn’t help but overhear what the cooks and the washers were discussing.

And it was not just your normal banter. Voices were raised. Their jugular veins exposed. It was a heated discourse alright.

I thought it must be something major like the authorities finally catching up with Sally Badana after all these years or finding out what really happened to the more than P6 billion or so proceeds from the sale of a South Road Properties lot.

Then the resident conspiracist jumped in and cursed the whole system, which he believes to be rotten to the core (and who could blame him?), while he continued to sautee the aromatics.

I tried to be inconspicuous on the sidelines, deciding between chicken curry and Bicol express because it was almost 11 a.m. after all, but they had already gone beyond piquing my curiosity.

I couldn’t help but butt in.

What are you guys talking about?

The lone bettor who won the jackpot prize of P43 million of a Lotto 6/42 draw was a fake, one of them replied.

Huh?

Okay so I assumed they were talking about THAT winner since I didn’t catch the early part of their conversation. In fact, I had to look up “PCSO lotto scandal 2024” on the internet to find out.

I asked for the source of their information, and they told me it was a popular anchor of an AM station morning program, or something like that.

Anyway, here’s what got them so riled up. (By the way, I am basing my facts on an article from the Philippine News Agency that came out on Thursday, Jan. 18.)

On Thursday, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Mel Robles admitted during a Senate hearing of the subcommittee of ways and means that the viral photo posted on the PCSO social media of a bettor claiming her prize had been edited.

They did so to protect the winner’s identity, Robles said.

I have not seen the viral photo, nor have I any idea how our cooks and washers arrived at the conclusion that the latest lotto winners, and there are many of them, have all been a sham.

It must have been what the program anchor said earlier that morning. And since I was still fast asleep when that happened, I have no way of knowing and should keep my opinion to myself.

But get this.

A lone bettor bagged the 6/49 Super Lotto jackpot prize of P640.6 million drawn on Tuesday night, Jan. 16.

In the following night’s draw, another lone bettor bagged the jackpot in the Grand Lotto 6/55 amounting to P698.8 million.

Meanwhile, I finally decided on drowning half a cup of steaming rice in curry sauce topped with one piece of crunchy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside meatball to fill my empty stomach.

(Pit Senyor!)

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