Mexico president buys first $25 ticket for plane raffle
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador pushed forward Tuesday with a symbolic raffle of the presidential jetliner, purchasing the first of 6 million $25 dollar tickets that will be offered to the public.
The plane, equipped with a special presidential suite, itself isn’t at stake: Each of the 100 winners will take home about $1 million.
The point for the government is to raise money for the poor, dramatize extravagant purchases by previous administrations and underscore López Obrador’s commitment to austerity — a key pillar of which is shunning the official jetliner his precessors purchased for some $200 million. Instead, he flies coach.
Tickets will go on sale to the public March 9 and the administration says the nation’s most prominent businessmen already have promised to buy about half of them.
López Obrador said that if his ticket turns out to be a winner, he will give his prize to scholarships.
Part of the proceeds are supposed to go toward costly upkeep of the Boeing 787, which the government had been has been unable to sell, even at a cut-rate price of some $130 million — in part because it would be costly to reconfigure for commercial use.
As for the plane itself, López Obrador said the government would organize visits for the public.