- Title: ITALY: Italians curious about lottery winner's identity
- Date: 24th August 2009
- Summary: ROME, ITALY (AUGUST 23, 2009) (REUTERS) NEWSPAER KIOSK AND MAN READING NEWSPAPER
- Embargoed: 8th September 2009 13:00
- Location: Italy
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA9KXPWXIEYLXRROPAVRE0C5MXJ
- Story Text: People are curious and, maybe, slightly jealous on Sunday (August 23) after knowing that one lucky Italian scooped Europe's biggest lottery on Saturday night winning 147 million euros, (210.5 million U.S. dollars).
Mari Ruti thinks the winner could be an even wealthier man.
"God helps powerful men. This means that money goes to rich people who are able to manage it. Of course you and I can win too, but we should be very clever to manage money," said Mari Ruti, a chef working in an old restaurant in the city of Rome.
Italian state news agency Ansa reported the winner, whose name was not disclosed, had spent just two euros on the ticket. The ticket was purchased in a bar in the small town of Bagnone, Tuscany.
Antonio, a seasoned lottery player, said he has never won and he has been playing for years.
"We don't know who won. Maybe the winner is a rich man. You must be very lucky and pick the right numbers. It is very difficult. I have been playing since I was 18, so for 43 years and I have never won," said pensioner Antonio.
It was the first time anyone had won the state-run SuperEnalotto since January. The previous biggest jackpot in its 12-year history was 100 million euros.
More than 700 million euros were spent on tickets as the jackpot continued to grow. But the biggest winner may be the government, which takes about half the revenue.
"Whoever it is, the important thing is that it is a poor person. Even though I have doubts. I cannot believe in such winnings. It is not so clear. Anyway, congratulations to him or her," said another passer-by Melissa.
The rising jackpot had sparked a betting frenzy across Italy and even lured tourists from neighbouring countries to play.
The SuperEnalotto has provided a welcome windfall to the hard-pressed Italian Treasury, which has seen lottery money go as a means to compensate a slump in tax revenues as Italy grapples with its worst post-war recession.
The Treasury will keep about half of more than 2 billion euros of bets laid since the last jackpot in January.
The rest is paid out in winnings and divided between ticket vendors and lottery organiser Sisal SpA.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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