The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is a government-owned corporation which runs a number of draws throughout the week for lottery fans in the Philippines - games such as Lotto 6/42, Mega Lotto 6/45, Super Lotto 6/49, Grand Lotto 6/55 and Ultra Lotto 6/58.
There has been a lottery in the Phillipines since the middle of the 19th century. It had to cease operations following the outbreak of the Spanish-American war in 1898, before returning as the National Charities Sweepstakes in a format similar to the one known today.
The PCSO was later established in 1934, with a portion of the funds set aside for contributions to charitable and social causes. Today, that portion amounts to more than a quarter of net receipts, with more than a half going towards the payment of prizes.
Here is more information about the Lotto draws that take place in the Philippines.
You need to match all six numbers and the animal to win the jackpot, but you can also win prizes for matching fewer numbers. The top prize rolls over if nobody wins and can be worth hundreds of millions of yuan.
Introduced in 1997 as a bigger version of Lotto, Mega Lotto 6/45 works in the same way. You have to select six numbers from 1 to 45, and match three or more to win a prize. All six of your numbers must be the same as the winning numbers for you to win or share the jackpot. Draws are held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
With draws held every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, Super Lotto 6/49 gives you the chance to win even great jackpots starting at around 15 million peso if you can match all six numbers from 1 to 49. Super Lotto 6/49 was launched in July 2000.
With a minimum jackpot of 30 million peso, Grand Lotto 6/55 provides the opportunity to win prizes every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The top prize has even been known to grow higher than 400 million peso.
Grand Lotto made headlines around the world on 1st October 2022, when the 236 million peso jackpot was split between an incredible 433 winners. There are usually only one or two players who match all six numbers from 1 to 55, if indeed it does not roll over, and the high number of winners sparked a lot of scrutiny.
However, the results could be explained by the fact that the winning numbers were 9, 18, 27, 36, 45 and 54 - all multiples of 9 - and lots of players had used these numbers as it was a recognisable pattern.
Ultra Lotto 6/58 is the newest, and biggest, Lotto draw in the Philippines, having been launched in February 2015. Draw days are Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and the cost of entry is 24 peso. To win the jackpot, you must match all six numbers, but you can win for matching as few as three numbers just like with the other Philippine Lotto draws.
The jackpot starts are 50 million peso and has even been known to go higher than 1 billion peso. In October 2018, two players from Albay and Samar split a record prize of 1.1 billion peso.
The following tables shows all the different ways to win, the odds for each category and the estimated prize value.
|Numbers Matched||Odds of Winning||Prize|
|6||1 in 40,475,358||Jackpot|
|5||1 in 129,729||280,000 peso|
|4||1 in 2,035||3,800 peso|
|3||1 in 92||20 peso|
If you win a prize of up to 10,000 peso, you can claim it from authorised lottery retail outlets, or from a PCSO branch office. Prizes of more than 10,000 peso are subject to tax at a rate of 20 percent and must be claimed from a PCSO branch office.