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‘BALATO’ AT CITY HALL

Lotto winner plays Santa in Borongan

/ 07:14 AM November 17, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY—One of the two winners of the record-high P1.18-billion lotto jackpot played Santa Claus way ahead of Christmas, giving away P5,000 each to his former coworkers in the city government of Borongan, Eastern Samar province, early this week.

The winner, a middle-aged man who has since left town with his family after claiming half of the Ultra Lotto 6/58 prize, also handed out cash to several tricycle drivers amounting to P1,500 each.

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One of the beneficiaries was Dorothy Abenis, a staff member of Mayor Ma. Fe Abunda, who received her P5,000 on Wednesday.

“We are really very thankful to him because he never forgot about us in sharing his blessings. As far as I know, he was the second lotto winner from Borongan but he was the first to share his winnings,” Abenis said in a phone interview.

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‘Early Christmas bonus’

According to Abenis, close to 1,000 regular and casual workers at City Hall received P5,000 each from the instant multimillionaire, the money coursed through the City Treasurer’s Office.

“He sent the money through a friend who also works at City Hall. That is why he decided to course it through the Treasurer’s Office since it has the list of all the employees,” she said. “It’s like an early Christmas bonus for all of us.”

Mayor Abunda was also given a share, calling it an “early Christmas gift.”

Thankful

“One of my staff members came to my office and told me that I have P5,000 from him,” Abunda said. “Of course, I’m thankful that he’s sharing blessings with us.”

“I did not go to the Treasurer’s Office to collect the money,” she added with a chuckle.

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The mayor said the lotto winner was known to her personally as they live in the same village, and that she understood why he and his family decided to move out of Borongan for their  “security.”

In total, it was estimated that the lotto winner handed out “balato” (shares in the prize) to the tune of  P4.5 million on Wednesday.

He was said to have also given away “millions of pesos” to his siblings and those of his wife, a schoolteacher.

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