Sunday, June 16, 2024

Luxury beach house in Cancún is top prize in National Lottery

A luxury beach house in Cancún, built as a presidential retreat during the mandate of former President Felipe Calderón, is the top prize in this year’s Independence Day raffle, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced on Thursday.

All Mexicans can buy tickets to win the residence (valued at 236 million pesos, according to the government) in a National Lottery, whose results will be drawn during the celebrations for the national holiday in Mexico City’s Zócalo square on Friday night.

AMLO
President AMLO said all proceeds from the raffle would fund a new hospital in Quintana Roo. (lopezobrador.org.mx)

Other prizes include a VIP box at the Azteca Stadium and 354 million pesos (US $20.7 million) in cash prizes and refunds. The cost of a ticket is 500 pesos (US $29).

“I take the opportunity to summon everyone [to participate]” AMLO said at his morning press conference. The money raised through ticket sales will fund the  construction of the Felipe Carrillo Puerto Hospital in Quintana Roo, he explained.

AMLO admitted that he forgot to promote the raffle earlier, but urged all Mexicans to join in. Three million tickets are on sale, and will be available until 5 p.m. tomorrow.

“You buy the number, the ticket, you can win the house and also cooperate and help,” he said. “I forgot to report it because it’s already tomorrow, but look how many [prizes] there are…there’s still time.”

The national lottery drawing will take place on Friday as part of the celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day. (Lotería Nacional/X)

The Villa Chakté Cancún is a luxurious beach-front house, complete with a jacuzzi and is located in one the city’s most exclusive neighborhoods. It is officially owned by the National Fund for Tourism Promotion (Fonatur), but was available for use as a presidential retreat during the mandates of Calderón and his successor, Enrique Peña Nieto.

It was also the source of a scandal that cost the job of Fonatur’s former Cancún director, Raúl Bermúdez, after he was found to have been letting out the property on Airbnb for up to US $600 per night.

Throughout his mandate, AMLO has made a point of distancing himself from the luxurious lifestyles of former presidents, seeking to promote his image as a champion of the people. In 2020, he announced a raffle for a luxury presidential plane bought during Calderón’s mandate, but later clarified that the plane would not, in fact, be the prize. The plane was sold earlier this year to the government of Tajikistan.

Following Friday’s raffle draw, Independence Day celebrations will continue with a concert, including performances by Yahritza y su Estancia, Grupo Frontera, and members of the children’s community group Semilleros Colectivos.

With reports from Milenio and Infobae

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