PCSO Lotto: One Fact and One Fallacy

Sweepstakes. Scratch Card. Lotto. Taya.

Filipinos are very familiar with these words. Almost every mall in the country has a PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office) Lotto outlet where people from all walks of life line up to bet on luck.


So many of us pray for it! When millions of Filipinos are betting, winning could only be possible with luck.

The biggest lottery the PCSO offers is the Ultra Lotto 6/58 where the minimum jackpot prize is P50 million. The biggest jackpot prize in the history of our country’s lottery was over P741 million — and it had only one winner, a balikbayan from Olongapo City.

When the prizes at stake amount to millions, it’s not surprising that many Filipinos consider lotto as a solution to poverty.

Fact: Lotto is for Charity

“Lotto nalang ang pag-asa para maka-ahon sa buhay.”

You might know of people who feel this way. It’s why they spend money at the lotto outlets every week, betting on their family members’ ages, birthdays, and other numbers that have sentimental value for them.

It’s understandable if you feel the same way. There’s nothing wrong about lotto betting now and then. The PCSO lotto, after all, is a charity sweepstake: Its proceeds go towards helping the less fortunate in our country. The money you spend on your lotto ticket could help an unemployed mother pay for the medicine and hospital bills of her sick child.

So the next time you buy a lotto ticket, change your perspective. Don’t do it because you want to become a millionaire overnight. Join the sweepstakes because it’s a way to help people. Here’s the truth: Winning the lotto is never a guarantee.

Fallacy: Lotto is an Investment

People who say that a lottery is a form of investment are wrong. Lotto betting doesn’t make you earn more money. The P20 you pay for every ticket doesn’t generate interest, so you can’t call it an investment.

The truth is that each 6/58 or 6/45 ticket you buy is an expense. You can’t get that money back — unless you win the lottery. But remember, your chances of winning are low because you’re competing with millions of other bettors for the jackpot prize. Even if you buy one or two more tickets, your odds are still one in more than five million.

Remember: a lotto ticket might only cost P20, but if you sum it all up, you could be spending more than you expect. Here’s an example:

Suppose you bet every week for one year for three lotto games: Ultra Lotto 6/58, Grand Lotto 6/55, and Super Lotto 6/49. That’s P60 per week. Let’s say you didn’t win at all for one year. With 52 weeks in one year, you’ll have spent P3,120 per year on sweepstakes.

There’s nothing wrong with lotto betting, but it can be bad for your finances if you keep doing it because you believe it’s an investment. If your goal is to secure your future, it’s better to spend your money on other important things like health insurance and saving for the down payment of a house.

Adopt the right attitude when it comes to lotto, and you’ll save money in the process.

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