- Title: ITALY: Lottery fever as record-breaking jackpot reaches 100 million Euro
- Date: 23rd October 2008
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) CLAUDIA MAINA, UNIVERSITY STUDENT, SAYING: "I never used to play. I have started since the prize is so high in the last three weeks, I've been trying every week. And if I win, I'll buy the university, all the professors, all the apparatus." OLD MAN FILLING IN LOTTERY TICKETS (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ATTILIO, PENSIONER SAYING: "If this prize doesn't come out soon people will start jumping out of windows." MONITOR RECORDING DATA OF A LOTTERY TICKETS (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) CLAUDIO MARCELLI, OWNER OF A TOBACCO SHOP WHERE PEOPLE CAN BUY SUPERENALOTTO TICKETS, SAYING: "There has been a big increase in people who buy Superenalotto lottery tickets in the last few weeks. About three times, four times as many players. They said we went up from 40 million tickets to 90 million." FRUIT AND VEGETABLES MARKET VARIOUS OF PRICES (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) MARGHERITA CARLI, SHOPPER SAYING: "I will not buy a ticket. I will not let gambling tempt me. I have my job. It's enough for me." MARKET
- Embargoed: 7th November 2008 12:00
- Location: Italy
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Finance,Lifestyle
- Reuters ID: LVAAMPQA82TQU7VOD5OGE5ANW35Z
- Story Text: As prices soar, banks collapse and global financial markets enter crisis, Italians on Thursday (October 23) were putting their hopes in the national lottery with a record-breaking jackpot of 100 million euro and the next draw scheduled for the evening.
The winning jackpot for Italy's lottery, the Superenalotto, has not been drawn since April and is now believed to be the largest in the world.
From housewives, to pensioners, to police officers, lotto fever has grabbed the country,
"100 million euros? Scary. I'm almost afraid of it. It's too much. First of all, if I won, I'd give alot to charity," said Carabinieri officer Nino Fortunato Montemezzo, who's middle name, he pointed out, means lucky.
"If I win, my first thought would be to settle my children. To buy a house. A few houses, actually. I have four kids and lots of grandchildren," said Mexican immigrant Linda de la Piedad who has lived in Italy for many years.
As university students are caught up in a confrontation with prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's government over reforms in the education system, one student said she would use the winnings to sort out the education system herself,
"If I win , I'll buy the university, all the professors, all the apparatus," said Claudia Maina.
The winning number will be announced on Thursday evening live on television.
"If this prize doesn't come out soon people will start jumping out of windows," said pensioner Attilio.
Statistics show approximately a third of the population are now buying tickets which are on sale starting at just one euro. Rumours are rife in the country that those with more money such as organised-crime gangs and mafia groups are snapping up millions of tickets to improve their chances of winning.
"There has been a big increase in people who buy Superenalotto lottery tickets in the last few weeks. About three times, four times as many players. They said we went up from 40 million tickets to 90 million,"
said the owner of a tobacconist shop where tickets are sold.
But not everyone has been convinced to take up the life of gambling.
Down at the market where prices have increased exponentially since the beginning of the year, some people have not been tempted to try their luck.
"I will not buy a ticket. I will not let gambling tempt me. I have my job. It's enough for me," said shopper Margherita Carli.
Certainly many Italians ahead of Thursday night's draw don't agree, and most market analysts, bankers and traders would likely say it makes financial sense spending one euro to give Lady Luck a chance.
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