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GM Robles assures ironed-ticket claimant of releasing his lotto winnings

Antonio Mendoza and his wife with PCSO GM Melquiades Robles
Lotto winner Antonio Mendoza and his wife meet with PCSO General Manager Melquiades Robles at the PCSO Main Office in Mandaluyong City on Oct. 25, 2023 regarding the claiming of his winnings in the Lotto 6/42 drawn on Oct. 2, 2014, which was delayed for nine years due to damaged ticket. (JERRY S. TAN)

After nine long years, the long wait of a jackpot lotto winner who failed to claim his winnings due to a damaged ticket is finally over.

This, after Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Melquiades Robles vowed that his office will abide by the Supreme Court decision ordering the PCSO to turn over the more than P12-million Lotto 6/42 jackpot prize to the said winning bettor.

On Wednesday, Robles warmly received lotto winner Antonio Mendoza, when the latter visited him in his office, before assuring him that his winnings will be turned over once documentary and other processes have been completed.

“I assured him that I will expedite the process of his claim. Kailangan lang may certificate of finality from SC. I will make sure that he enjoys the fruits of his winnings ASAP. I wanted to put a closure on this issue,” Robles said.

The SC had issued a 17-page ruling ordering the PCSO to release Mendoza’s winnings amounting to P12,391,600.

It will be recalled that on October 2, 2014, Mendoza placed three lucky pick bets for the Lotto 6/42 in an outlet in Batangas. He later found out that he had won, but his granddaughter had crumpled the winning ticket.

In an attempt to save the ticket, Mendoza’s daughter ironed it, placing a piece of fabric over it. However, this resulted in partially burning the ticket, erasing some details which the PCSO requires to award the prize.

On October 5, 2014, Mendoza went to the PCSO Main Office in Mandaluyong City where he submitted a handwritten account of the incident to the legal department.

On October 20, 2014, Mendoza was told he could not claim the prize, since the damaged ticket could not be validated, based on the PCSO’s prevailing conditions on claiming/payment of winnings: “Prizes shall be paid to the holder of share/s of a winning ticket upon presentation and surrender of the same, provided that the ticket/s is/are free from any mutilation, erasure or stain, making any number/s therein illegible, and provided further that no court injunction restraining the PCSO to pay is received before payment.”

Mendoza then sought relief from the SC and after nine years of legal battle, the High Court has ruled that the circumstances surrounding the fact that Mendoza won the lottery were clearly established and that the testimonial of Mendoza and his family were admissible.

The PCSO is thus is set to release Mendoza’s winnings immediately once the necessary processes are finished, even as it was also ordered to pay the legal interest of six percent per annum from the date of finality of the decision.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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