French lottery

Syrian refugee wins 1 million euros in French lottery

A Syrian refugee based in the northern suburb of the French capital, Paris, has won one million euros in lottery money after buying 10 euros scratch ticket.

The 30-year-old former businessman, who won 1mn euros in the national lottery, arrived to France in 2011 and has been doing odd jobs since then.

He received his prize money last year in June, but the story of his win has only just emerged this week after the Federation Francaise, the operator of France’s national lottery, confirmed it to Le Parisien, a local French newspaper.

According to reports he used his money to buy an apartment and also wants to bring the rest of his family to France. He also plans to open a restaurant and improve his French.

Before arriving in France, the man owned a small business in Syria, but was forced to flee the country due to the ongoing war that has displaced nearly half the population and killed more than 250,000 people.

More than a million refugees have arrived in Europe for safety in the past one year.

The majority of refugee escaping to Europe come from camps in countries neighbouring to Syria. Millions are living in temporary shelters, dependent on aid agencies for food and with little hope of getting jobs.

Not the first time

Last month, a Senegalese migrant saved from a sinking ship by Spanish coastguard won €400,000 in a Christmas draw.

The winner, Ngame, stood outside the lottery agency, was in tears as he clutched a photocopy of his winning ticket with the number 79,140. He thanked Spain for saving his life and giving him the chance to play the country’s world famous lottery.

“Today I thank the Spanish government, the Spaniards too,” Ngame told Ondacero radio. “They saved us when we were in the middle of the sea.”

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