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Homeless man wins Hungary's biggest-ever lottery

InternationalInternational: Homeless man wins Hungary's biggest-ever lottery
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Uses winnings on foundation for addicts and abused

Unemployed, in debt and facing another year living on the streets in Hungary, László Andraschek spent his last remaining coins on a lottery ticket. Now the formerly homeless man has a choice of accommodation around the world after becoming one of Hungary's biggest lottery winners, with a prize of about $2.8 million.

Andraschek, whose 630m Hungarian forint win last September went unnoticed until he made a significant donation to a hostel for the homeless this month, said buying the ticket was a chance decision at a railway station on his way to Budapest for a workshop for recovering alcoholics.

"I had only picked six numbers and the female shop assistant reminded me that I needed to pick a seventh," he said. "I told her to make it 24 — it doesn't matter, anyway."

But he was wrong and now plans to use his winnings to establish a foundation for addicts and women abused by their husbands.

The 55-year-old resident of Gyor, north-west Hungary, said his first act was to repay his debts, before cycling to a car dealer. "When the car salesman asked me how much I would be willing to spend, I held up three fingers. As I had arrived on a bike he assumed this meant 300,000 forints, but actually I meant 3m."

As neither he nor his wife can drive, the car will be driven only by his children.

Andraschek has since bought flats for each of his three children, paid off the debts of his relatives and is planning to travel to Italy, having not previously held a passport.

He and his wife, Anikó, said they will invest their money cautiously and avoid the ruinous spending splurges of many a lottery winner. "I have become rich but I have not become a different person. I could buy a large-screen TV because I can afford it, but I won't buy three because I can afford it."

Having struggled with alcoholism, Andraschek finally quit five years ago and says he "now has no need to return".

The news of Andraschek's dramatic upturn in fortunes came as human rights activists organised a wave of protests worldwide against a new Hungarian law that bans sleeping rough, in a country that has 30,000 homeless people. Last week alone, demonstrations were held in front of Hungarian embassies and consulates in London, Paris, New York, Vienna, Lisbon, Dublin, Brussels, Essen and Istanbul. Next weekend a Hungarian NGO run by homeless people, A Város Mindenkié (The City is for All), will stage another protest in Budapest against the law, which threatens those living on the streets with a fine or imprisonment.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Guardian, Lottery Post Staff

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25 comments. Last comment 7 months ago by One-Day.
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dr65's avatar - black panther.jpg
Pennsylvania
United States
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May 2, 2009
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Posted: February 17, 2014, 12:35 pm - IP Logged

The best kind of winner! One down and out.

I'm happy for him and may he have fun spending it on whatever he sees fit. You only live once.

And for the comments that will come along the lines of: he will be broke in a couple years/months, he will start

drinking again, or he will give it all away taking care of family and friends....remember, it is his and he won it.

His situation before winning could happen to any of us and whatever his life becomes after winning can happen

to any of us too...good or bad.

WTG Andraschek!

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    maringoman's avatar - kobold
    Massachusetts
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    Posted: February 17, 2014, 12:54 pm - IP Logged

    Nice catch! I'm hoping he'll stretch this money as far out as possible. No more homelessness. I have to wonder though where his wife and kids were before he won this money. Had they abandoned him? I hope not.

    It's a futile effort.

      helpmewin's avatar - dandy
      u$a
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      February 22, 2011
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      Posted: February 17, 2014, 1:06 pm - IP Logged

      Congratulations Mr on your BIG WIN Spend WiselyParty

                       

        Avatar
        New Member
        Pennsylvania
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        Posted: February 17, 2014, 1:17 pm - IP Logged

        That's awesome, congratulations

          noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
          Bay Area/ California
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          Posted: February 17, 2014, 1:38 pm - IP Logged

          Nice catch! I'm hoping he'll stretch this money as far out as possible. No more homelessness. I have to wonder though where his wife and kids were before he won this money. Had they abandoned him? I hope not.

          My thoughts exactly.  Plus l wonder what the cost of living is in Hngary? Nevertheless- more power to thus guy.
          All good things come to those who wait,  its been said.  Glad his ship finally came in. That's a Gloria moment.

            Teddi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

            United States
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            May 13, 2013
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            Posted: February 17, 2014, 1:44 pm - IP Logged

            Nice catch! I'm hoping he'll stretch this money as far out as possible. No more homelessness. I have to wonder though where his wife and kids were before he won this money. Had they abandoned him? I hope not.

            That's the $2.8 million dollar question. I could understand if he were still drinking, but if he stopped 5 years ago, why did the family and friends he's now taking care of, have him living on the streets, risking imprisonment??? 

            Other than that headscratcher, good for him. Sounds like the dollar really stretches over there and he seems like a decent, generous guy, so I hope he'll be comfortable for the rest of his life.

              Igamble's avatar - spider
              nj
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              Posted: February 17, 2014, 1:52 pm - IP Logged

              yea really nice story this one.Happy for this guy that he has the power now to change many things in the  lives of many ppl.

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                London
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                Posted: February 17, 2014, 2:35 pm - IP Logged

                Dreams and  wishes do come true if believe. Big congrats to him !!!

                  surimaribo24's avatar - img1901pn
                  NEW YORK. RIVERHEAD
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                  Posted: February 17, 2014, 2:48 pm - IP Logged

                  simply amazing . 

                  PETS#=105-215

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                    westboro, ma
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                    Posted: February 17, 2014, 3:13 pm - IP Logged

                    not buying the homelessness claim prior to his win. wife probably just threw him out daily until he found work.

                      JonnyBgood07's avatar - Patriots logo1.jpg
                      Connecticut
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                      May 29, 2008
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                      Posted: February 17, 2014, 3:34 pm - IP Logged

                      now these are the stories I like to hear....Best of luck to him and his family.That's too awesome

                      "...Life is not a matter of holding good cards,but sometimes playing a poor hand well...
                      'Fortune Cookie wisdom'

                       


                        dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                        Oklahoma
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                        Posted: February 17, 2014, 5:07 pm - IP Logged

                        Congratulation Mr Andraschek, glad he's giving back. I too wonder where his family was when he was on the streets anywho WTG Thumbs Up

                        I Love Pink & Green 1908

                          Greg2117's avatar - Lottery-035.jpg
                          New York
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                          Posted: February 17, 2014, 5:21 pm - IP Logged

                          I guess he won't go hungary anymore....ba dum chhh!

                            sully16's avatar - sharan
                            Listens to the wind

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                            Posted: February 17, 2014, 7:53 pm - IP Logged

                            Great story, He's got a second chance at a fulfilling life.

                            Congrats to the lucky man.

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