Sweepstakes or lottery? What is the difference between the two?

A lottery can be government or privately sponsored. A person buys tickets for a chance to win a prize, usually cash. Sometimes the prize may be for something else; i.e., a home or a vacation package. The prize might be given to one winner or spread through several, depending on the style of the lottery. The variety of tickets and the picking of the winner is unlimited. Some countries have provincial or state lotteries, or even a federal agency that sponsors a country-wide lottery. You might choose a set of numbers in a randomly selected draw, or ‘instant-win’ style tickets, where you match up a certain number of prize symbols or denominations to claim a prize.

A sweepstakes is considered a contest in which a prize goes to one winner, though there may also be supplemental second and third place prizes. It can be cash, a trip or an item. Sweepstakes are often used by private foundations to raise money for their works, or by companies for gathering information, promoting new products or increasing awareness. The cost you pay is only for buying the product. Buying promotional items in any sweepstakes does not increase your chance of winning. No purchase of a sweepstakes ticket is allowed or required, and often a ‘one entry per person’ rule is in place.

Lottery or lotteries drive people unreasonable sometimes. Why? Because even the last money they have, they would bet it in, in the hope that their lottery ticket will win, multiplying the amount they have initially invested.

In the Philippines, there is one principal government agency that facilitates the raising of funds to provide for health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character - the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

The PCSO holds and conducts charity sweepstakes, races, and lotteries and engages in health and welfare-related investments, projects, and activities to provide for permanent and continuing sources of funds for its programs.

The main products of the PCSO are the sweepstakes and the lottery games. The Sweepstakes game has steadily been evolving through the years to be able to conform with the changing times, to keep the game interesting to all Sweepstakes enthusiasts and to hopefully attract more clients, and to maintain a variety of Sweepstakes products readily available in the market.

The PCSO holds three 6-pick number games, the Lotto 6/42, MegaLotto 6/45 and the SuperLotto 6/49. All of these number games can be played using the system play (systems 7 to 12), 5 Roll, and Lucky Pick. The Lotto 6/42 is drawn on Tuesdays and Saturdays and has a minimum jackpot prize of P3,000,000.00. The MegaLotto 6/45 is drawn on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with a minimum jackpot prize of P4,500,000.00. Lastly, the SuperLotto 6/49, which has a minimum jackpot prize of P16,000,000.00, is drawn on Thursdays and Sundays. and Sundays.

The agency also conducts the 6-digit (6D), 4-digit (4D), Suertres Lotto and the EZ2 Lotto games. The 6D game is played only in Luzon. Draw days for this game are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays with a minimum guaranteed amount (MGA) of P150,000.00 per ten-peso play. The 4D game is played in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao on the same days as that of the MegaLotto 6/45, which are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The minimum guaranteed amount for this game is set at P10,000.00 per ten-peso play. The Suertres Lotto Mid-Day Draw game is only played in Visayas and Mindanao while the Suertres Lotto Evening Edition is played in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The Suertres Lotto games are drawn everyday with a first prize of P4,500.00 per ten peso play. While, the EZ2 game is also drawn everyday in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with P4,000.00 as first prize per ten peso play.

In adherence to its main thrust of providing funds for health programs and other charities, the PCSO is engaged in various social welfare and development programs. The main programs of the agency are as follows: endowment fund/quality health care program, individual medical assistance program, community outreach program, ambulance donation program, national calamity and disaster program, and hospital renovation and improvement of health care facilities. Also, the agency makes mandatory contributions to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter and Urban Development Financing Program (CISUDFP), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Centennial Commission (PCC), Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), and the Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC) as well as regular quarterly and monthly contributions to charitable institutions engaged in giving welfare services to the children and youth who are either abandoned or exploited, the elderly, and the physically and mentally handicapped, among others.

I wonder if PCSO had also contributed to help the flood victims of Brgy. Botolan in Zambales. More than a month had passed and the evacuees are still living on evacuation tents lacking so much of food, clothing, and medicine. Most children are becoming sick due to their unpleasant conditions. These people are still needing much help from the government.