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First prize in Sunday's raffle is this home at Playa Espíritu. First prize in Sunday's raffle is this home at Playa Espíritu.

Government raffles land in Sinaloa development to fund hydroelectric plant

Prizes include a waterfront home, cash and 200 waterfront lots

A beachfront property in Sinaloa will be the star prize in a lottery whose proceeds will help build a new hydroelectric plant in the state, President López Obrador said Tuesday. 

The 12,000-square-meter property on Playa Espíritu, located on the Sinaloa-Nayarit border, has 11 bedrooms, a swimming pool and a terrace and is valued at 28.9 million pesos (US $1.36 million) 

The government hopes to generate 5 billion pesos (almost $233 million) from the lottery to meet half the cost of the Santa María hydroelectric dam in El Rosario, 73 kilometers southeast of Mazatlán.

“Everything that is obtained by raffling this land goes to Sinaloa … [the dam] is a project of around 10 billion pesos,” the president said.

“Buy your ticket … to get yourself a safe property … It’s an Eden, a paradise.” A ticket costs 250 pesos and the draw will be held Sunday.

Second, third and fourth-place prizes of 5 million pesos each will be awarded, followed by 200 waterfront lots, each with a value of about 1.2 million pesos.

The total value of the prizes is 297 million pesos, said the head of the National Lottery, Margarita González Saravia.

The lottery’s first prize is a ranch that belonged to former Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) governor Antonio Toledo Corro. The land in the area was bought in 2008 by the National Tourism Promotion Fund (Fonatur), during the administration of president Felipe Calderón, to create a tourist destination. 

However, the project failed because the property was bought at an elevated price, López Obrador said. He added that the cost of the upkeep posed a challenge. “Fonatur bought it for around 2.5 billion pesos ($22 million in 2008) and since then they had to continue spending on the land … they exceeded 4 billion pesos. It is difficult to maintain it. No one has wanted to invest … because it is not accessible,” he said. 

Presidential raffles have been a frequent sideshow during the López Obrador administration. The presidential plane was advertised as a prize in a 2020 raffle, but symbolic cash prizes were awarded instead, and the plane is still in possession of the government. Box seats in the Azteca Stadium, which were a governmental asset, and the properties of drug traffickers were given away as prizes in September.  

The lottery will be broadcast live on Sunday at 8:00 p.m.

With reports from El País

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