A politician has called for an investigation into a Philippines Grand Lotto draw which saw hundreds of people share a claim of the $4m jackpot.
As reported by the BBC, 433 Filipino citizens picked all six correct numbers in last weekend’s Philippines Grand Lotto, with all numbers – 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54 – divisible by nine.
Terence Tao, a mathematics Professor from the University of California, told the BBC that a pattern like this being a winning series of numbers is rare “for any single lottery.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Guido David, a mathematics Professor at the University of the Philippines, has estimated that, on the assumption that 10 million bets had been placed, the probability of having this many Philippines Grand Lotto jackpot winners was “one out of one followed by 1,224 zeros’.
“I don’t know a name for this number since it is so large. The number of molecules in the known universe has 80 zeros,” said Dr David.
Philippines senate minority leader Koko Pimentel has now called for an inquiry into how such an unlikely event occurred.
Pimentel said: “These lotto games are authorised by the Republic of the Philippines. Therefore, we need to maintain and protect the integrity of these gambling games.”
However, Melquiades Robles, General Manager of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), has insisted that there were no irregularities in the Philippines Grand Lotto draw and highlighted that people in the Philippines tended to bet on number sequences.
“Many have held onto their numbers. It’s not only good to be loyal to your wives and husbands, it’s also good to be loyal to your numbers,” Robles told a news conference on Sunday.
Tao has also suggested that, while incredibly rare, such a scenario is not outside the realms of possibility.
“There are hundreds of lotteries every day around the world, and statistically it would not be surprising that every few decades, one of these lotteries would exhibit an unusual pattern,” he added.
“It’s similar to how in any given hand of poker it would be unlikely to draw a straight flush, but if one looks at hundreds of thousands of hands at once then it actually becomes quite likely that a straight flush would be drawn.”