By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

(File photo)

MANILA – The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) on Wednesday denied Senator Raffy Tulfo’s claim that a single bettor won 20 times in its games. 

In a statement, the PCSO said these reported prize claims made by one person are from the agency’s digit games that only have minor prizes and do not automatically mean that he/she is the winner of these prizes.

“For Digit Games such as 2D, 3D, 4D, and 6D, PCSO lotto outlet agents or representatives of the winners can collect the winnings on their behalf. Since they are just minor prizes, a winner can ask someone he trusts to claim the prize for him/her through the so-called ‘paki-claim’,” it added. 

The state lottery agency said some winners resort to the ‘paki-claim’ scheme due to the added burden of personally claiming the prize.

The PCSO said the list pointed out by Tulfo also showed that no bettor has won more than once in the major lottery draws such as Lotto 6/42, Mega Lotto 6/45, Super Lotto 6/49, Grand Lotto 6/55 and Ultra 6/58.

It added that winners of these major games are required to personally appear at the PCSO Main Office to claim their jackpot prizes.

The PCSO said the list mentioned by the lawmaker “originated from the PCSO and should not be interpreted in a manner other than what it is meant to be”.

“The real issue here therefore is the claimant, and not the number of times that he supposedly won as what Sen. Tulfo seemed to have assumed,” it said.

Meanwhile, the PCSO assured its commitment to fostering a gaming environment that upholds fairness and ensures the integrity of all draws.

“Certainly, our lotto winners’ safety, security, and well-being are paramount in all our endeavors,” it added. (PNA)