Flu kept Spaniard from learning of lottery jackpot

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A 25-year-old Spanish woman who won EUR 126 million in the Euro Millions lottery was down with flu over the weekend and only learned about her winnings on Monday.

Madrid – A 25-year-old Spanish woman who won a record EUR 126 million in the Euro Millions lottery only learned of her good luck days later after spending the weekend bed-ridden with the flu, officials said Tuesday.

The unnamed woman from the island of Majorca discovered that she had won the jackpot awarded Friday when lottery officials finally tracked her down on Monday, online lottery seller Serviapuestas said in a statement.

"I was still sick on Monday so I decided to go to work out of fear of losing my job given the economic crisis we are going through," she was quoted as saying in the statement.

The woman was the only one to tick the five correct numbers (4, 23, 24, 29, 31) and two stars (8, 9) and win the huge jackpot drawn in Paris in a ticket which she bought through Serviapuestas.

"When she learned the news she was frightened and at the same time very, very moved. Logically she asked us many questions," the company said in the statement.

She also told Serviapuestas that when they first contacted her "I thought they were pulling my leg.... I thought it was some publicity."

The woman said she now plans to buy a country house in Majorca and raise horses.

"I have always liked animals, nature, sensitive things..," she said.

The jackpot of EUR 126,231,764 is enough to buy two Airbus A-320 jets.

The previous record in the lottery, run by nine European countries, had been held since July 2005 by Dolores McNamara of Gallyowen near Limerick in southwest Ireland who took home EUR 115,436,126.

Friday's winner beat odds of 76 million to one to win the equivalent of four years' salary by David Beckham, the world's best paid footballer.

Euro Millions, which recently celebrated its fifth anniversary, brings together France, Britain, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Austria. The jackpot begins at EUR 15 million each week but is rolled over if there is no winner.

The world record for a game of chance is USD 390 million (EUR 286 million) split by two winners of the super jackpot in the American Mega Millions lottery in March 2007.

AFP / Expatica

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