Italian scoops record 147 mln euro lottery jackpot

Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:48pm EDT
 
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ROME (Reuters) - An Italian from the small town of Bagnone, in the central region of Tuscany, won Europe's biggest ever lottery jackpot of more than 147 million euros ($210.5 million) on Saturday, Italian state media reported.

It was the first time anyone had picked the six number combination of the state-run SuperEnalotto lottery since January 31. The rising jackpot had sparked a betting frenzy across Italy and even lured tourists from neighboring countries to play.

Italian state news agency Ansa reported the winner, whose name was not disclosed, had spent just two euros on the ticket.

The SuperEnalotto has provided a welcome windfall to the hard-pressed Italian Treasury, which has seen lottery money go some way to compensate for 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 organizer Sisal SpA.

(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes and Daniel Flynn)

 
<p>Biffi Bar owner Giovannino Simonetti (L) and his niece Sara Orsi pose where a winning lottery ticket was sold in the Tuscan village of Bagnone August 23, 2009. REUTERS/Paolo Bona</p>