What are the odds? Winnie Monsod doubts 433 won P236-M Grand Lotto jackpot

Economist Winnie Monsod couldn’t believe how 433 bettors all chose multiples of nine to win the P233-million jackpot prize in the 6/55 Grand Lotto of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

To emphasize how small the odds are of winning the lottery, the former socioeconomic planning secretary said people are more likely to be struck by lighting than hit the jackpot by betting in the game of chance.

“That 433-winner lottery is certainly worth investigating,” Monsod said in a tweet. “The odds of winning the 6/55 Lotto prize, according to Philippine Lotto, itself, are 1 in 28,989,675. The odds of being struck by lightning in a person’s 80-year lifetime are 1 in 15,300. That means we are 1,895 times more likely to to get hit by lightning in our lifetime than winning the lotto.”

She also doubted the integrity of the lotto game.

“The only other nat’l lottery that has had multiple-winners of that magnitude is Spain’s El Gordon. That is only a 5-number lottery. AND they know exactly how many duplicates a ticket number has. Do we?,” Monsod said.

“Come on, there are many people who choose with a fixed set of numbers, and many would base it on a pattern to easily memorize them! And often, it’s based on a personal level,” statistics professor Peter Cayton tweeted. I know it’s a thing, because I DO THAT!”

On Monday (October 3), some of the winning bettors went to the PCSO’s main office to claim their share of the jackpot prize.

The state-run lottery has maintained the integrity of the draw.