Just how probable is it that 433 people came up with the same winning combination of lottery numbers? If you ask social media, not very.
Netizens were shocked when the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) announced that there were not one, not two, not three… but over 400 winners in its 6/55 Grand Lotto draw on Saturday, each of whom will be able to stake their claim on the whopping PHP236 million (US$4 million) jackpot.
ABS-CBN data analyst Edson Guido said that the odds of any individual getting the six winning digits out of 55 was 0.000003%, or about one in 40 million.
There are 433
winners of tonight's 6/55 Grand Lotto. What are the chances of this happening?
To get the 6 winning digits out of 55, that's 1 out of 28,989,675… or 0.000003%
Grabe diba? Tapos 433 nakakuha.
What's the winning combination?
Multiples of 9 LOL
— Edson C. Guido (@EdsonCGuido) October 1, 2022
Netizens also drew attention to the fact that the winning numbers were all multiples of 9, casting further doubt on the legitimacy of the draw.
LOOK: Five lucky bettors from DAVAO DEL SUR are among the 433 winners who hit the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) 6/55 Grand Lotto on Saturday, October 1, with a jackpot prize of P236,091,188.40.
The winning bettors will get P545,254.24 each.
— Sun Star Davao (@SunStarDavao) October 3, 2022
Today in strange things that only happen in my country:
433 winners won the P236M (around $4M) lotto grand prize. Not only that, the winning combination is a series of numbers divisible by 9.
Who cares about probabilities?
(@OohLalaFootball) October 2, 2022
433 winners just happened to guess the correct grand lotto winning combination. The combination just happened to be a perfect arithmetic progression of multiples of 9: 09-18-27-36-45-54.
1 bettor has a 1-in-40 million chance of winning. 433 bettors just beat those odds.
— Alan S. German (@PersuasionAI) October 2, 2022
Even former senator and presidential candidate Ping Lacson said he believed the results were anomalous.
“433 winners in one 6/55 lotto draw is highly improbable, if not impossible,” the veteran lawmaker on Twitter. “If I were to investigate this apparent PCSO anomaly, I’d start by looking for a common denominator of these ‘lucky ones’.”
Yet the PCSO stood by the results of its lottery draw, calling it a “happy development,” and posting photos of its winners claiming their prizes, which amounted to over PHP545,000 (US$9,240) each.
Opposition senators said they would file a resolution to look into the integrity of the lottery draws, calling it “strange and unusual”.
“While we recognize that people tend to bet in patterns, we want to make sure the system is secure, free from glitches, and trustworthy,“ Senator Risa Hontiveros said in a statement.