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P300-million lotto jackpot up for grabs

By Julie M. Aurelio, Inquirer Research
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:47:00 11/03/2010

Filed Under: Gaming & Lotteries, Casinos & Gambling

MANILA, Philippines?The odds are one in 29 million that you will hit the six-number winning combination in Wednesday night?s 6/55 Grand Lotto draw.

In fact, you are more likely to get struck by a bolt of lightning or get killed by an asteroid hurtling down from outer space than to guess the winning numbers right.

Officials of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) believe the formidable odds won?t deter Filipinos from queuing up at lotto outlets on Wednesday and betting even their last P20 bill to try and win the breath-taking 6/55 jackpot of more than P300 million.

Dreams of a spectacular Christmas are also expected to feed the urge of others to troop to the nearest outlets even if it would mean suffering the long lines of bettors.

The jackpot for Wednesday night?s 6/55 draw is expected to breach the P300-million mark for the first time in the seven-month history of the new lotto game.

No one won the P295 million jackpot in Monday night?s draw, which produced the winning combination of 8-49-29-35-28-45 and a jackpot of P295,664,774.40.

?The prize for the 6/55 Grand Lotto may reach P303 million for the draw on Wednesday, and yes this is the first time it will hit the P300-million mark,? PCSO assistant general manager Liza Gabuyo said.

Gabuyo, the officer in charge for online lottery, said more Filipinos were inclined to try their luck at lotto as the pot grew bigger.

?The bigger the lotto jackpot, the more Filipinos try their hand at betting. They want to be millionaires,? she said in a text message.

She added: ?In the history of lotto, many are betting because of the big jackpot. It?s not the odds.?

Odds of winning

Statistics show that the odds are one in 28.99 million to win a 6/55 Grand Lotto. For 6/49, the odds are one in 13.98 million. For 6/42, they are one in 5.25 million.

According to an article on the website BBC.co.uk and to Livescience.com, the chances of being struck by lightning are one in 3 million, the chances of dying due to an air travel accident are one in 20,000, and the chances of being killed by an asteroid are from one in 200,000 to one in 500,000.

Gabuyo urged the public to place their bets early to avoid long queues. Betting stations will open at 8 a.m.

Second biggest

Aside from being the biggest Grand Lotto jackpot, the projected P303 million would be the second biggest prize in all of the PCSO?s lotto games.

Touted as the most popular draw of the lot, the 6/49 Super Lotto produced the biggest jackpot among all the PCSO?s lotto games in February 2009, when the prize hit P347 million. It was shared by two winners.

Just last week, a female government worker claimed the P152-million prize she won in Super Lotto.

In April, the PCSO replaced the Power Lotto with the 6/55 Grand Lotto in a bid to address increased requests for medical assistance from indigent patients.

Betting system

The Power Lotto, with a starting bet of P50, uses a more complicated betting system. The Grand Lotto uses a single panel betting system just like the other lotto games.

Draws for the Grand Lotto are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays with a minimum bet of P20.

Bettors have to choose six numbers in any order from 1 to 55 to play the Grand Lotto, which has a minimum jackpot prize of P30 million.

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