Many players betting on same 'lucky' lotto numbers ‘a natural occurrence’ — PCSO

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 2) — Following the result of the Grand Lotto draw on Saturday where 433 players won, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) assured the public about the integrity of its lotto games, adding it is normal for many players to bet on the same set of “lucky” numbers.

“It’s a natural occurrence na may nag-aalaga (ng numbers) at maraming nananalo kapag tinamaan ‘yon… We are, in fact, pleased na marami ang nanalo lalo at magpa-Pasko,” PCSO general manager Mel Robles said in a press briefing on Sunday.

[Translation: It’s a natural occurrence that there are those who bet on the same numbers and many will win if those were drawn… We are, in fact, pleased that many won since Christmas is near.]

“It so happened na marami nga ang tumaya noon [that many bet on that]. As viewed by the habit of earlier bettings, the same combinations, we track them, marami talagang nag-aalaga diyan [a lot are really betting on the same numbers],” he added.

The PCSO official also bared that they have the locations where the winners placed their bets, noting that it was “widespread all over the Philippines.”

The winning combination, which netizens pointed out were all divisible by nine, was 09-45-36-27-18-54.

The Philippine Gaming Management Corporation (PGMC) explained that the number “9” is very popular among bettors globally, except for one country.

“Worldwide, ‘yung nine, ‘Lucky 9,’ is very popular pagdating sa [when it comes to the] lottery. Based on the information…it only shows that it’s not only here in the Philippines but worldwide, the number nine is very lucky for all the betting public, except for Japan because they have a different culture,” said PGMC’s Tito Villarino, who, according to Robles, is an expert on international lottery.

The PCSO also reiterated that the drawing of winning numbers cannot be rigged.

Lahat ng draw operations, aside from live telecast ito, meron pa pong mga auditors, particularly the COA (Commission on Audit). ‘Yun po ang nagwi-witness and sine-certify 'yung draw proceedings natin,” PCSO assistant general manager for gaming, product development and marketing sector Arnel Casas said.

[Translation: All our draw operations, aside from it being on live telecast, there are also auditors, particularly from the COA, who witness and certify our draw proceedings.]

Probe on PCSO gaming activities

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel said the recent Grand Lotto result was “strange and unusual” and bared that he will file a resolution to investigate the PCSO’s gaming activities.

Talagang marami po ang nagtaka, na medyo nagulat [Many really wondered and were quite shocked] because statistically speaking, this is a very rare event. Let us take this opportunity to investigate so that ang [our] purpose natin is to ensure the integrity of our lotto games,” he said.

“I will file a resolution, because this is my concern, these lotto games are authorized by the Republic of the Philippines. Therefore, we need to maintain and protect the integrity of these gambling games that we have authorized,” he added.

Deputy Minority Leader Sen. Risa Hontiveros also expressed support to probe the “extraordinary results” of the recent draw.

“We just want (to) rule out any doubts in the public mind that the results have been manipulated. While we recognize that people tend to bet in patterns, we also want to make sure the system is secure, free from glitches, and trustworthy,” she said.

Robles said the PCSO welcomes the investigation and will present the same data shown to the media. He also thanked Pimentel for his vigilance.

“The interest of the people is at stake and that’s part of their job — to make sure na [that] we’re working right for the welfare of the people,” the PCSO general manager said.