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Homeless man wins Hungary's biggest-ever lottery

InternationalInternational: Homeless man wins Hungary's biggest-ever lottery

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 4 years ago by One-Day.
Page 1 of 2
dr65's avatar - black panther.jpg
United States
Member #74096
May 2, 2009
23870 Posts
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!


    maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
    United States
    Member #37433
    April 14, 2006
    2747 Posts
    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.

    That money's gone fo ever

      helpmewin's avatar - dandy
      United States
      Member #106665
      February 22, 2011
      19967 Posts
      Posted: February 17, 2014, 1:06 pm - IP Logged

      Congratulations Mr on your BIG WIN Spend WiselyParty


        United States
        Member #152528
        February 17, 2014
        24 Posts
        Posted: February 17, 2014, 1:17 pm - IP Logged

        That's awesome, congratulations

          noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
          Chasing the Dream.
          White Shores- California
          United States
          Member #136477
          December 12, 2012
          4962 Posts
          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
            Member #142499
            May 13, 2013
            1345 Posts
            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
              United States
              Member #145657
              August 10, 2013
              1019 Posts
              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.

                United Kingdom
                Member #148675
                November 8, 2013
                54 Posts
                Posted: February 17, 2014, 2:35 pm - IP Logged

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

                  surimaribo24's avatar - photo11 zpsfffd70be.jpg
                  NEW YORK. RIVERHEAD
                  United States
                  Member #106371
                  February 17, 2011
                  9716 Posts
                  Posted: February 17, 2014, 2:48 pm - IP Logged

                  simply amazing . 


                    United States
                    Member #108380
                    March 25, 2011
                    505 Posts
                    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
                      United States
                      Member #61623
                      May 29, 2008
                      20581 Posts
                      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

                      "No matter how bad things may get, I'd like to thank my middle finger

                      for always sticking up for me.."


                        dallascowboyfan's avatar - chi
                        United States
                        Member #82391
                        November 12, 2009
                        6351 Posts
                        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
                          United States
                          Member #145706
                          August 12, 2013
                          108 Posts
                          Posted: February 17, 2014, 5:21 pm - IP Logged

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

                            sully16's avatar - sharan
                            United States
                            Member #81740
                            October 28, 2009
                            56918 Posts
                            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.

                            Bag of popcorn, $1.99

                            Watching traitors throw each other under the bus, PRICELESS !