Tim Yap apologizes for erroneously claiming Inquirer reporter Miko Morelos won P741 M lotto jackpot; Morelos "fears for his safety"

TV host and active Twitterer Tim Yap has apologized for wrongly claiming that Philippine Daily Inquirer reporter Miko Morelos won the P741 million jackpot prize of the 6/55 Grand Lotto. Yap Tweeted: "It was an honest mistake. My apologies if any of you were offended by the mistweet, although I clarified it in my next tweets that Mr. Morelos wasn’t the winner but the reporter who covered the lotto proceedings. I tweeted those messages without any malice or ill intentions. I have already spoken to Mr. Morelos and personally apologized to him."

In an Inquirer.net article published today that Morelos wrote, he denied winning the prize, saying he "didn’t even get a chance to place (his) bet." He said he only reported the winning combination and the general whereabouts (Luzon) of the actual winner.

He pointed to Yap as the "culprit" behind the rumor that went viral in social networking sites. Morelos quoted Yap’s tweet posted earlier this week: "Eto na, PCSO confirms one winner--his name is Miko Morelos. He gets to take home the P741.2M peso Grand Lotto 6/55 Jackpot! #magtagokana!"

Yap later Tweeted a series of apologies but Morelos said, " The damage had been done... With the desperate times as indicated by the surge in petty crimes in the streets, I feared for (my family’s) safety."

"The first thing that crossed my mind was how clueless Yap was on the subject. The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office does not disclose the identity of any winner for obvious security reasons," Morelos added. "What was appalling was the hundreds of people falling for the false information. They even set up a fan page on Facebook encouraging me to spend the money wisely, while not taking seriously the clarifications from the Inquirer Twitter account and ’Mr. Bigshot socialite’ (Yap) himself."

For more on this story, log on to Inquirer.net and ABS-CBNNews.com.

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