Religious spokesmen are condemning it, other Europeans are flying in to buy tickets and lotto frenzy continued to build in Italy as the week ended with the news that Thursday's draw of the Italian Superenalotto once again failed to find a winner, boosting the prize to a new record of Euros 131.9 million (GBP 117 million).
Germans, Austrians and other foreigners headed into Italy to play the lottery before the draw, whilst discussions within the country were dominated by speculation on what one would do with such a massive financial windfall. Most seemed to favour paying off debt, taking a break, buying cars and sharing the bonanza with first family and then friends.
As the week ended, German companies were organising special charter flights to fly in punters anxious to buy their tickets on Italian soil, and Italian towns are buying tickets to balance municipal budgets. Germany's Bild newspaper said 140 passengers on a chartered Air Berlin jet won a phone-in contest for free airline tickets for a flight from Berlin to Milan's Malpensa airport. Besides the free seats, the winners were treated to a plateful of pasta, a cup of espresso and the opportunity to buy Superenalotto tickets at Milan airport.
Sky News reported that hitting six numbers for the main prize is not the only wealth generator; even 5 numbers would now net a punter between Euros 31-33 millions.
No one has picked the winning numbers since January.
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