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Mexico sells only 1/3 of presidential jet lottery tickets

MEXICO CITY – Mexico has sold only about one-third of the lottery tickets in a symbolic raffle for the presidential jet, with just a little over a month to go before the Sept. 15 drawing.

The 6 million $25 tickets don’t carry a stake in the plane; instead, each of the 100 winners will collect prizes of about $1 million each. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador urged Mexicans to buy tickets, noting Wednesday “there’s not much time left.”

The lottery was originally intended to raise money to buy medical equipment. But with sales slowed by the coronavirus pandemic, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador now says the unsold tickets will simply be donated to the government agency that runs public hospitals, which would keep the money from any winning tickets.

López Obrador has been trying for over a year to sell the Boeing Dreamliner purchased by a previous president for about $200 million. The president, who only flies commercial as one measure in his austerity government, said the Boeing Dreamliner symbolizes the luxury and excesses of previous administrations.

The president originally suggested raffling off the plane itself, but hit on the symbolic lottery after many Mexicans wondered what they would do with the huge plane if they won it.

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