Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel Wins P117 Million in Lotto Without Buying a Ticket
(Pasig City, Philippines) – In a strange but extremely fortunate stroke of luck, senate minority leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, who called for an audit of the gaming activities of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) after a recent controversial lottery result, himself wins P117 million ($2.1 million) in the latest PCSO grand lotto draw.
The winning number was 02-04-06-08-10-12.
Senator Pimentel, who has no recollection of ever buying a lotto ticket, called the win “an unexpected but pleasant surprise.”
“Frankly, I have always thought that winning the lotto was only true in fairy tales,” Pimentel told a reporter in an interview. “Meant for someone else but not for me. So I was skeptical when my secretary texted me to say I won. And then I saw her face.”
Pimentel told the agency that he plans to use his winnings to buy a small hacienda in his home province of Cagayan de Oro and possibly a modest condo in California, and donate the rest to the Pangarap Fund, a charity for streetchildren in Manila.
However, it wasn’t long before netizens found irregularities with the draw, starting with the winning number.
Dr Guido David, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of the Philippines, said in an X post that the probability of having these series of winning numbers was “1 out of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. It looks unlikely.”
Others noted that the photo of the senator being handed a giant check by Assistant General Manager Julieta Aseo looks “doctored.” “I have worked in a bank for over 20 years and I have never seen a check the size of a kartolina,” said one Philippine eagle-eyed X user. “It looks completely fake to me.”
Officials from PCSO rejected allegations of irregularities, saying that observers were present to monitor the highly regular pre-draw procedures.
“We would like to assure the public that the PCSO is honest about its responsibility and mandate to conduct games that are trustworthy, full of trustworthiness and translucency,” said Melquiades Robles, the PCSO general manager. “Public servants such as Senator Pimentel have as much chance of winning the lotto as everybody else. Even if they forgot to buy a ticket.”