Winners of Mexico’s presidential plane raffle to get USD $1 million prize
The raffle aims to raise some MXN $3 billion – Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL

Winners of Mexico’s presidential plane raffle to get USD $1 million prize

07/02/2020
13:23
Reuters
Mexico City
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Mexico has yet to find a buyer for the USD $130 million Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which the leftist López Obrador has cast as a symbol of excess and corruption in previous governments

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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador gave details on Friday of a raffle aimed at covering the cost of a luxury presidential plane he has struggled to sell, clarifying that 100 winners will get USD $1 million in cash rather than the plane itself.

Mexico has yet to find a buyer for the USD $130 million Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which the leftist López Obrador has cast as a symbol of excess and corruption in previous governments in a country where around half the population lives in poverty.

Last month, López Obrador floated the idea of raffling off the plane itself. The plan caused some hilarity in Mexico as humorists tried to imagine what an ordinary citizen would do with the large and opulent aircraft.

On Friday, however, López Obrador made clear that the 100 holders of winning tickets would get USD $1 million in cash. The raffle aims to raise some MXN $3 billion with sales to begin on March 1.

“We’re doing this so that we don’t auction it off cheaply so that we aren’t in a rush,” López Obrador said.

Did you know the Mexican government knew the presidential plane would generate million in losses?

“I’m sure that all the tickets will be sold,” said López Obrador.

As well as the cash prizes, the lottery would raise about USD $53 million for public hospitals, the president said.

Attempts will continue to sell, or lease, the spacious jet, which has been reconfigured to fly only 80 people, has a large “presidential suite” and a private bath.

Is the raffle to get rid of Mexico's presidential plane ready?

The winning tickets - selected from 6 million sold - will be announced on September 15, the day before Mexican Independence Day.

López Obrador has made a point of crisscrossing Mexico aboard commercial flights, often taking fellow passengers by surprise. He has auctioned off many smaller government planes and helicopters.

The specially outfitted Boeing 787 Dreamliner was acquired in 2012 at the start of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s six-year term.

Did you know EL UNIVERSAL reported the purchase of the presidential plane in 2012?

On March 3, President López Obrador announced his administration will start selling the raffle tickets on March 9, the day when Mexican women will go on a strike to protest against femicide and gender-based violence. Days after the strike was announced, the President branded it a conservative movement and said it was orchestrated by the opposition and that it was meant to attack his administration, something NGOs and activist deny. 

The raffle winners will be announced on September 15.

On March 4, the President announced the tickets will go on sale on March 10 or 11, after López Obrador was criticized for announcing the raffle tickets would go on sale on March 9, on the same day as the national women's strike

Recommended: Mexican women call for a national strike after a series of brutal femicides

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