MANILA, Philippines?As long as the lucky bettor is at the vicinity of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Margarita Juico, PCSO chair, assured the safety of the Grand Lotto jackpot winner once he or she claims the P741-million prize, the biggest in the history of Philippine lottery.
?The winner also has an entire year to decide when to get the prize. That is the grace period allowed,? Juico said in an exclusive interview on the show ?Kumpadres? of dzIQ Radyo Inquirer, hosted by veteran broadcaster Willy Matawaran and Inquirer Libre editor-in-chief Chito dela Vega.
?We can provide escorts. The manager of Land Bank will also be ready to assist,? Juico said. Land Bank of the Philippines is the government bank authorized to transact with the winner.
?Then again, our obligations stopped once we handed the check to the lucky bettor. Ibibigay naming nang buong-buo, walang labis walang kulang (We will give the full amount, no more no less),? Juico said.
She laid out less head-ache inducing options for the winning bettor. One, she said the winner could decide to get only a certain percentage and deposit the rest of the amount to several banks. She said the winner can also deposit and divide the money like a trust fund, which can be withdrawn yearly in a 10-year or 20-year duration.
Now if the winner decided to do something stupid like encash the whole amount at once to be brought home, there goes the problem. ?We can only do so much,? Juico said.
Talking in a humorous mood, Juico told the hosts that she initially wished that 100 winners could share the ginormous prize.
But as it turned out, only one winner emerged. Her other wish will be fulfilled and that is for the winner to get the biggest prize in hisotry in their new office.
PCSO, incidentally, had just transferred its main office from E. Rodriguez Street in Quezon City to the Philippine International Convention Center, CCP Complex, Pasay City,
She gave more tips to the still-unknown Grand Lotto jackpot winner and the future jwinners as the Grand Lotto 6/55-category will return to the initial P30 million prize in the next raffle.
?Don?t change lifestyles at once. Buy a house or a property that could ensure your safety but make it as simple as possible. ?Yung hindi halata (Not obvious),? she said. If one has children, she said make sure their education expenses up to college are covered first.
Never do interviews with the media as this could entail danger. If it?s unavoidable, be sure not to be photographed or show one?s face in the TV camera. She cited the case of a past winner whose jackpot prize was P46 million. Since members of the media were waiting at the PCSO lobby, he was hounded by interviews.
?He was a tricycle driver. He gave interviews but he never showed his face to the camera,? Juico said. Still, the whereabouts of the said winner are now unknown.
?Plan very, very carefully what to do with the prize money before claiming it. Think about it really, really hard. At any rate, you have an entire year to decide,? Juico said before going off the air.