Rescued migrant wins 400,000 euros in Spanish lottery

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A Senegalese migrant named Ngame, who made the dangerous journey by boat to Europe eight years ago and was rescued at sea, wins 400,000 euros in Spain’s annual Christmas lottery. Rough Cut – Subtitled (no reporter narration).

Rescued migrant wins 400,000 euros in Spanish lottery


STORY: A Senegalese migrant who was rescued from the sea eight years ago whilst trying to make his way to Europe was one of the winners on Tuesday (December 22) of ‘El Gordo’ — the top prize in Spain’s traditional Christmas lottery.

The 35-year-old, identified as Ngame, was the holder of one of the 1,600 tickets assigned with the winning number 79140, netting him and his wife 400,000 euros.

Ngame made the dangerous journey from Morocco in 2007 in a packed wooden boat and arrived in the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife.

He initially made a living picking vegetables and fruit for the greenhouses that dot the coast of the southern province of Almeria.

“I first worked in the greenhouses for four years and when my wife arrived what I earned was too little so I started selling things on the beach and I found ways to make a living,” he said as he celebrated his win with his family in his uncle’s home, where he lives.

Ngame said he was not in a hurry to spend the money.

“Slowly, without rushing I will decide what to do. For me, money is only money, we have to keep our feet on the ground and stay with the friends we always had,” he said.

He added that the money would be useful to help provide a good education to his son, who lives in Senegal.

Every year, millions of Spaniards club together with friends, family or co-workers to each buy fractions of the same ticket in the over 200-year-old lottery which, on winning numbers, pays out 400,000 euros for every 20 euros wagered.

Ngame’s win has been welcomed by the whole family. His uncle said that the day before winning the lottery, his nephew had sent his last 120 euros to a family member in need in Senegal.

“In the morning they had no breakfast, because they had no money. Well, in the afternoon they won the lottery. That’s life. Go figure,” Ngame’s uncle said.

Spain’s Christmas lottery distributed 2.24 billion euros in prizes this year. The top prize was won by holders of ticket number 79140, which were all sold in the town of Roquetas de Mar in the southern province of Almeria.

Unlike other draws, the Spanish Christmas lottery does not have a a single or a few big prizes, but rather, it distributes billions of euros amongst thousands of winning numbers.

Each ticket costs 20 euros.

Spaniards spent close to 2.6 billion euros on tickets this year, according to the government agency that runs the draw, with some waiting for hours in queues that snaked around city blocks.

This year’s draw, like others a huge collective affair, provided a welcome distraction from Sunday’s (December 20) national election, which plunged the country into a political stalemate and ended almost four decades of two-party rule.

Tags : lottery, spanish, Euros, 000, 400, wins, Migrant, rescued

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