Lotto winner claims grand prize, photographed while hiding behind tarp

Meet the newest multi-millionaire.

After the Ultra Lotto 6/58 winner from Samar claimed his winnings last week, the official Facebook page of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) announced today that the other winner from Albay has claimed his prize and look, there’s a cute little photo of him too.

Those worried for the new millionaire’s safety need not be because his face isn’t actually seen in the photo. Instead, he is cheekily hidden behind a tarp that reads “I am a LOTTO JACKPOT WINNER.”

He’s like those old school cartoon characters you only see from the chest down.

In the photo with him are PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan and Deputy Spokesperson for the Office of the General Manager Florante S. Solmerin.

The jackpot worth PHP1,180,622,508 (US$21.7million) — the highest in PCSO history — was won by two people: someone from Albay and another from Eastern Samar on Oct. 14, Sunday.

Lots of people, even President Rodrigo Duterte and his daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, placed their bets on the massive Ultra Lotto jackpot with the hopes of becoming a billionaire.

READ: Netizens react to news of 2 people winning biggest lotto draw in PH

Since there are two winners, they’ll each take home half of the prize. A winning bettor’s prize is subject to a 20 percent tax, which is why they’ll only bring home PHP472 million (US$8.7 million) each.

The winners’ identities are being kept secret for their safety. However, the Philippine Star reported that the Albay winner is a married 30-year-old male nurse. The Philippine Daily Inquirer added that he came with his parents.

The Samar winner, on the other hand, is a middle-aged man who came with a companion to claim his winnings last week. Both of them had to borrow money to get to Manila where the PCSO office is.

READ: One of two lotto winners borrowed money to claim PHP472 million prize

Netizens weighed in on the Albay winner’s epic photo.

Ffej Orallo Inacab wrote: “Congrats to the winner.. I hope you could help those in need.. [God bless].”

Facebook user Maria Rowena Belaro Valladolid wasn’t in on the joke. She wrote: “I thought you didn’t show the faces of the winners?”

To which PCSO responded: “Good day! The winner is behind the tarpaulin.”

One claimed that someone from the PCSO management won the grand prize. “They’re just making it look like someone [ordinary] won the jackpot,” wrote Reynaldo B. Alivio.

But Francis Michael Velasco Depalco rejected the claim, saying that the winner is a nurse.

Mark Bren added that the winner was behind the tarpaulin for privacy. “That’s for the privacy of the winner. Would you want your face shown to the ‘public’ if you guys won?”

Adge G. Autentico echoed the sentiment that it is for the winner’s security.

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