MANILA, Philippines?A single bettor from Luzon on Sunday night won the top prize of P249 million in the 6/49 SuperLotto draw, the biggest ever jackpot in the history of the country's online lottery game, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office said.
PCSO spokesperson Larry Cedro gave no other details about the lone winner, who picked the winning six-number combination 47-32-1-46-15-29.
"Our database showed that we have a single winner for tonight's draw," Cedro said in a phone interview.
The previous biggest jackpot amounting to P202 million was won by six bettors in October 2002.
The exact amount of Sunday night's breathtaking jackpot was P249,005,120.40, according to PCSO.
"The winner is from Luzon but we still cannot tell from what province or at what lotto outlet the winner placed the bet," Cedro said.
The winner will get the jackpot tax-free.
"As mandated by law, the PCSO assumes the payment of taxes of the lotto winners," he said.
The jackpot for the 6/49 lotto draw reached P249 million after nobody picked the winning combinations in 16 previous draws.
Sunday night's draw was the 17th since the first draw held on Jan. 17.
Consolation prize: P56,000
Aside from the lucky jackpot winner, 58 bettors each won P56,000 for picking five of the six winning numbers.
Also, 3,521 bettors will get P1,000 each for getting four winning numbers, while 87,538 bettors won P100 each for picking three numbers out of the winning combination.
"Once the news about the draw comes out in the newspapers tomorrow, residents in the whole of Luzon would be looking for that lucky person," Cedro said in jest.
Spend it wisely
Cedro said the solo jackpot winner should immediately go to the PCSO's head office in Quezon City or the lotto outlet where he or she placed the bet.
"Like we told previous winners, I hope the lucky winner will spend the money wisely," Cedro said.
He said the holder of the winning combination should present the original copy of the lotto ticket and two valid identification cards at the PCSO.
With the biggest jackpot in Philippine history up for grabs, Cedro said lotto betting stations raked in a total of P180,850,180 in gross sales, easily the country's largest lotto sales in a single day.
It eclipsed the previous high of more than P176 million in ticket sales, which was recorded last Thursday.
"We are really upbeat on the revenues that this lotto draw will generate," Cedro said before last night's draw. "More than anyone else, the public will be the biggest winner here as the PCSO will have more funds for charity projects of the government."
PCSO rules mandate that 55 percent of the net sales for lotto draws should go for the prize money, 30 percent to the government's charity funds and the rest to operational expenses, Cedro said.
Lotto agents get 5 percent of every bet as commission, he said.
Since the PCSO held the first lotto draw in 1995, the online lottery has made millionaires of more than 1,000 Filipinos.
It has also had 17 draws in which the jackpot exceeded P100 million. The more than P2 billion in prize money in these draws was shared by 29 winners.
One of Sunday's bettors, taxi driver Daniel Montilla left his house in Novaliches, Quezon City, early to hear the 6 a.m. Mass at Quiapo Church. He not only prayed for the recovery of his flu-stricken wife Ellen?he also asked God "for signs" so he could pick the winning combination in the SuperLotto draw.
Kneeling before the altar, the 46-year-old Montilla said he carefully thought of the numbers "that He wanted me to choose." In 15 minutes, he had three different combinations written on the palm of his left hand.
Not satisfied, Montilla drove to two other churches?in Baclaran, Parañaque City, and Mt. Carmel, Quezon City?"for confirmation."
Only then did he place a P60 bet at a nearby lotto outlet, using the money he made from his first passenger.
"I know the Black Nazarene has plans for all of us. If I don't win this draw, then maybe I should pray harder the next time," Montilla told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.net).