By EDD K. USMAN
Manila, Philippines – This is one for the books.
A winner of more than P14 million in the draw of Lotto 6/42 on April 22, 2008 has confessed that he spent all his winnings in just three months because he wanted to taste the life of a millionaire.
Dionie Reyes, who gave his permission to be identified, told TEMPO in an exclusive interview that he did not regret throwing all his money away, because it was his, he enjoyed it to the hilt, and he did not take it from anybody else.
“I won it from a lotto game of PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office),” the winner said.
“It was my money. I spent my P14 million in three months,” he admitted. But in the end, he felt sorry for his unbridled spending spree, especially now that he owes some people about P500,000.
Nearly four years after his lucky streak, the native of Las Piñas, now 47, married, with an 11-year-old adopted son, said he wanted to tell his story so others who may strike gold, or already did, with the lotto games may learn a lesson, or two.
In September this year, Reyes underwent heart surgery at the Philippine Heart Center. He thanked the PCSO management for helping him, paying for the cost of operation of about P500,000, more or less.
Reyes started working with a government agency in 1991. But after many years, he might be forced to retire early this year because his office is currently undergoing a restructuring process.
Before Reyes’s 71-year-old mother Paz died in 2004, she used to tell him that she had been praying for him to win the lotto.
“Anak, ipinagdarasal ko na manalo ka na ng lotto para makatikim naman tayo ng ginhawa (Son, I have been praying that you win in the lotto so we can have a better life),” he recalled his mother telling him.
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