Questions that need answering
The Philippine Senate has launched an investigation into the state-run lottery due to concerns over its legitimacy. A recent image that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) released of a jackpot winner was actually edited. This led the public and senate to question how authentic the win was.
she correctly guessed the six winning numbers by combining certain family birthdates
The image in question shows a woman from San Jose del Monte who is wearing glasses and a face mask accepting a check at the PCSO’s main office on December 29 after winning the Lotto 6/42 jackpot the previous day. The unnamed 47-year-old said she correctly guessed the six winning numbers by combining certain family birthdates and another two special numbers.
Admitting to editing the image
The PCSO has admitted that the photo was in fact edited for the winner of a ₱43m (US$767,960) jackpot. PCSO General Manager Mel Robles told senators on Thursday that they did so to protect the person’s true identity, although admitting that it was a poor editing job.
He noted that a previous winner who wanted to stay anonymous was still identifiable through their distinct clothing, despite the blurring of their face. To avoid this situation again, Robles said the reason for editing the most recent image was to conceal the person’s clothing.
The PCSO has run the lottery in the Philippines since 1995, also televizing the action. It shows an inspection of the balls and machine by independent officials before each draw.
Investigating the claims
Senators requested that the PCSO reveal the true identity of the recent winners so that investigators can confirm that there are no links between these people and anyone who works for the lottery. Robles said that the PCSO would provide the names “if there is a subpoena.”
The 63-year-old even said he would hire private detectives if necessary
Some lawmakers in the Philippines are looking to prohibit online instant paper games and lottery games. Senator Raffy Tulfo is in this camp and he presides over the Ways and Means subcommittee panel. He arranged Thursday’s executive session and plans to enlist the help of various government agencies to look into the matter. The 63-year-old even said he would hire private detectives if necessary.
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