VERA FILES FACT CHECK: PCSO lotto teller talking about substandard materials, NOT alleged lotto fraud

A PCSO lotto teller revealed that there was widespread fraud in PCSO’s lotto games.

YouTube channel Willy Ph Walking 01/23/2024 False

During the Jan. 18 Senate committee hearing, the lotto teller was actually talking about the hardships brought by substandard lotto tickets to their job.

Two videos on YouTube are erroneously claiming that a person testified against the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), saying the agency’s lottery was rigged. This is not true. The testimony was about substandard lotto tickets and not alleged lotto fraud.

Published as early as Jan. 23, one of the untrue videos’ headlines read:

Testigo lumutang ako mismo nakakita GM PCSO Mel Robles nabulaga (Witness came out: ‘I have seen it myself.’ PCSO General Manager Mel Robles shocked)”

Its video thumbnail also bore the superimposed false text: 

DAYAAN SA LOTTO PINAKITA PCSO ROBLES NAGULAT (Lotto fraud revealed, PCSO’s Robles shocked)”

Both videos carried footage taken from the Jan. 18 Senate committee hearing of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means supposedly showing the witness revealing through a tell-all account the cheating taking place during PCSO’s lotteries. But the clip itself disproves these claims.

Zenaida Salvador, President of the Kapisanan ng Lotto Agents at Tellers featured in the video, talked about the hardships lotto agents like her were facing because of alleged substandard thermal papers used in printing lotto tickets.

It is not true that a witness said that there is fraud in the lottery of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

The lotto teller in the video was actually talking about substandard lotto tickets.
She further shared with Sen. Raffy Tulfo that sometimes they had to cover the amount won in the lotto ticket out of their own pockets because the lotto machines could not recognize the damaged ticket.

Philippine Online Lottery Agents Association Inc. President Evelyn Javier previously told Tulfo that they were seeing more damaged lotto tickets ever since PCSO changed suppliers and started using pink tickets that usually fade after six to seven months, compared to the old orange-colored tickets that were said to be better.

Last week, the Senate conducted a hearing on the legitimacy of jackpot lotto draw results as part of its probe into the integrity of the lotteries managed by PCSO.

These false videos emerged after a photo of a lottery winner went viral. PCSO heavily edited the photo to conceal her identity, leading netizens to cast doubts on the authenticity of the win.

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)