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Less than 1/3 of IVU Loto winners have claimed their prizes

In the first nine months since the government launched its IVU Loto system, only 20 sweepstakes winners have claimed their prizes, taking home about 3 percent of the $630,000 up for grabs, Treasury Department numbers show.

IVU Loto is a two-pronged initiative through which the government seeks to crack down on sales tax evasion by requiring retailers to use a special point-of-sale device that reports the amount of a transaction, and the associated sales, tax back to the Treasury Department. This way, the agency knows exactly how much it should be collecting.

At the end of fiscal 2011, the agency said its IVU collections had increased by 3.2 percent.

IVU Loto also involves consumers because the system — adopted by 24,566 retailers as of Aug. 15 — engraves a 10-digit alphanumeric code on the transaction receipt that is their automatic entry in a weekly drawing giving away a combined $10,000 in prizes. Ideally, consumers are expected to demand their receipts from retailers and keep them to participate in the cash giveaway.

Treasury Department Spokeswoman Milagros Rodríguez confirmed to News is my Business that the agency had conducted 63 drawings since December 2010 — when IVU Loto was launched as a pilot program in Ponce — until Aug. 16. That translates into a total of $630,000 in prize money.

However, as of that date, only 20 people have actually claimed their winnings, which add up to $19,500, or 3 percent of the total draw.

Each week, Treasury conducts two drawings to give away a grand prize of $5,000, one worth $1,000 and eight worth $500. So far, only two people have claimed the grand prize, one has claimed a $1,000 prize and 17 have picked up the $500 in cash, Rodríguez confirmed.

The low level of participation may respond to a number of things: it hasn’t been long enough for consumers to develop the habit of keeping their receipts and checking the weekly drawings, or that consumers may be sticking to their religious beliefs and refraining from participating in the giveaways.

Earlier this year, religious groups blasted the IVU Loto concept, saying it represented a somewhat forced method of gambling.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.


  1. Ivuspots August 29, 2011

    I believe that the reason is mainly due to consumers’ lack of knowledge about the program. I developed a website and mobile web app to make it easier for folks to organize and find out if they have a winning ivu loto receipt. You can try it out at ivuspots.com

    1. mkantrow August 29, 2011

      Excellent initiative! I would like to talk to you some more about it. How can I contact you? Please send me your info to news@newsismybusiness.com. Thanks!

  2. Eli67 October 3, 2011

    I am one that checks all my reciepts since this Loto started. What is going on with the East part of our Island. I haven’t seen any winnings for Luquillo, nor Rio Grande and fajardo. Most seam to be in the Metropolitan area. Also in conversations that I have had with friends, people just simply think it is scam. I for one have everyone at work checking their receipts. If not they give them to me cause honestly, I don’t mind. But when you get into the system and your town , where you shop doesn’t even show up. It is a pity. Any way I am a single mom and broke so I can’t give up faith that I will win at least $500.. Can somene give me feed back

  3. IvuTrack.com November 6, 2011

    We IvuTrack.com team are trying to educate and make the people show more interest for the Ivu Loto. We went to 4 radio stations, newspapers and also 2 different TV shows. We have our web page http://IvuTrack.com, it does not require any type of membership or login, we have statistics, mobile web site and more. Give us a try you will like our free service.


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