WINNER. Anna Katrina Nicole Contacto (right) hands over the PHP21 million check to a seamstress from Rizal at the PCSO main office in Mandaluyong City on Nov. 7, 2022. The PCSO on Thursday (Dec. 1, 2022) said the woman got the winning combination of the Mega Lotto 6/45 draw on Nov. 4. (Photo courtesy of PCSO)

MANILA – After playing the lottery for 15 years, a resident from Rizal finally claimed her PHP21-million jackpot prize of the Mega Lotto 6/45 draw on Nov. 4, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) said on Thursday.

In a statement, the PCSO said the 39-year-old seamstress from Taytay town could not hold back her emotions when she arrived at the PCSO General Manager's Office in Mandaluyong City on Nov. 7.

Anna Katrina Nicole Contacto, Executive Assistant VI, representing PCSO general manager Melquiades Robles, handed over the check worth PHP21,436,089.60 to the winner who got the draw's winning combination 16-13-02-19-11-07.

“When I saw on the post of the PCSO Facebook Page that my number had won, I was speechless, I was already breaking out in a cold sweat and I was about to cry for joy. Almost like that happened to me in two days. I've been playing the lottery for 15 years. In the last 9 months I decided to estimate the age of my children and unexpectedly I achieved my dream,” she said.

The winner has a small tailoring business that was affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I used to have my own place, but my sewing business fell because of the pandemic. The blow came at the same time in my life during that time. Our house was sold to pay off the debt, now we are renting in a small shack. My son also needs kidney surgery. That's why I consider my winning the lottery to be the answer to all my requests from the Lord,” she added.

The winner vouched for the authenticity and integrity of PCSO’s games when she collected her prize and even encouraged the future patrons of Lotto and other gaming products of the agency.

To avoid forfeiture of winnings, winners have one year from the date of the draw to claim the prize, as specified in Republic Act 1169.

The PCSO further reminds the public that all lotto jackpot prizes must be claimed at the PCSO Main Office, Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City.

To claim prizes, winners must write their names and sign at the back of the winning ticket, and present two government-issued IDs.

The public is encouraged to keep on patronizing the products of PCSO as a large chunk of its revenues goes to charity programs. (PNA)