Slum-dweller wins millions in Philippine lottery

The 60-year-old collected eight mn dollar cheque from a 20-peso ticket.

Manila: An illiterate, slum-dwelling Philippine carpenter who was too poor to send his six children to school became an instant millionaire Thursday with the country`s second biggest-ever lottery win.

The 60-year-old collected a 356.5-million-peso (eight-million-dollar) cheque from a single 20-peso ticket, which was all he could afford, said an aide to Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office general manager Jose Ferdinand Roxas.

"He plans to buy a house because he and his family had never owned a proper home all their lives," said the Roxas aide, who declined to be identified.

Roxas, who handed over the cheque Thursday on behalf of the state lottery agency, could not be reached for comment.

The staff member said the unnamed man`s winnings were the second biggest ever for the state lottery, a popular pastime in a country where one in four people live on a dollar a day or less.

In December the lottery paid out a record 741 million pesos to a 63-year-old US-based Filipino man who had bought the winning ticket while vacationing in the Philippines.

The aide said the latest winner, who under lottery rules is never identified for security reasons, beat odds of one in 29 million on a six-number combination based on his and his wife`s birthdays and their wedding date.

The jackpot had mounted as there were no winners in 43 previous draws.

The carpenter lives in one of Manila`s many shanty towns, across the street from a gated southern Manila enclave called Ayala Alabang that houses some of the country`s richest families.

"Neither he nor his children had gone to school and his six children, all but one of them married, still live with him in his tiny shack," the sweepstakes office aide said.

The winner told Roxas he had been buying lottery tickets occasionally over the past three years when he had money to spare, which was not often, the aide said. Winners are drawn three times a week.

"The old man is really lucky. Others would bet thousands of pesos each time time and not win anything," the aide said.

Bureau Report

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