Our National Hero’s Lottery Stakes

Jose Rizal is not unlike millions of Filipinos today who line up in those small PCSO outlets in the hopes of becoming the next instant multimillionaire. Surprisingly, our national hero is also a ‘lotto addict’!

In his correspondence with his sisters, they often share lists of lucky numbers to bet on. Jose Rizal doesn’t drink hard, nor smoke, nor deal with heavy gambling— his only vice was that he was heavily into the lottery.

During his exile in Dapitan in 1892, he actually won the jackpot once. He jointly purchased a lottery ticket with two others and won a share worth P6,200. Quite a handsome amount of money during the late 19th century!

He gave P2,000 of winnings to his father, P200 to a friend in Hong Kong, and  the rest of his winnings to buy a beachfront in Talisay, Dapitan where he ran an agricultural business and built a school. The lotto hero was thus an enterepreneur who put good use to his winnings.

Rizal continued playing the lottery until his execution in 1896 but never struck gold again after his Dapitan winnings.

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