Several hospitals and a preschool were among the winners of 20-million-peso (US $950,000) prizes in the “presidential plane” raffle, drawn at the National Lottery building in Mexico City on Tuesday.
With millions of the 500-peso tickets unsold, President López Obrador announced last week that the government would spend 500 million pesos on tickets and distribute them to public hospitals treating coronavirus patients.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) No. 1 General Hospital in Tepic, Nayarit, was the first raffle winner to be publicly identified after IMSS Nayarit announced its good fortune on Twitter.
IMSS said the money would be used to expand the hospital’s emergency department and carry out other renovations.
Other hospitals in possession of winning tickets were the State Workers Social Security Institute (ISSSTE) Hospital in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, the General Regional Hospital in Charo, Michoacán, the General Regional Hospital in Toluca, México state, the General Hospital in Boca del Río, Veracruz, the ISSSTE hospital in Tampico, Tamaulipas, the Comprehensive Hospital in San Ignacio, Sinaloa, and the General Hospital in Jojutla, Morelos.
Zacatecas Governor Alejandro Tello announced the Fresnillo hospital’s win on Twitter, saying it was “great news” for local residents insured by ISSSTE. The hospital should use the money to buy new equipment and upgrade its facilities, he said.
IMSS Michoacán said the hospital in Charo would use its prize to install a new facility where patients can be diagnosed and treated for cardiovascular disease, while IMSS in México state said that operating rooms at the Toluca facility would be upgraded, new elevators would be installed and equipment to treat children with heart problems would be purchased.
Luis Miguel Rodríguez González, director of the ISSSTE hospital in Tampico, said that a committee would be formed to decide how to spend the funds but indicated that they will be used to address “deficiencies” at the 54-year-old facility. “We’re happy,” he said.
Another lucky raffle winner was a community preschool in Aramberri, Nuevo León, which received its winning ticket as a gift from a businessman. The preschool will receive its 20-million-peso prize just a few months after it was renovated with federal funds
A total of 100 20-million-peso prizes were up for grabs in the raffle, with the combined 2-billion-peso prize pool roughly equal to the value of the luxuriously-outfitted Boeing 787 Dreamliner that the federal government has been trying to sell for almost two years.