Lottery fever is gripping Italy, as millions of people dream their ticket will be the winner of Europe's record-breaking jackpot. Italy's SuperEnalotto top prize has climbed to $194-million and Italians and foreigners alike are making sure they have a ticket for Monday evening's draw.
Italians have been trying for months to guess the SuperEnalotto's winning six-number combination. No one has managed, since January. This has driven the winning prize to an all-time high for Europe.
Chances of guessing the correct combination are an astronomical 622-million-to-one. Fausto Rossi is a former bank employee who is now retired. He plays lotto every week.
He says he dreams that he will win.
And, the dreams continue when you ask players what they would do if they won such a huge amount of money. Rossi says that some people are prone to lose their minds if they find out they have won such an enormous jackpot.
Rossi says if he were to win, it would be time for a little reflection. Then maybe he would give some of the prize to charity and use some money for travel or for a boat cruise. He says he would invest the money.
Tourists in Italy have also been playing the SuperEnalotto. And, foreigners have been coming across the border to try their luck, as well. They have been arriving from Slovenia, France and Austria. In Germany, a major tabloid newspaper has sponsored a competition, awarding a chance to win free flights to Italy simply to buy tickets for the lotto drawings.
Rossi says it is a good excuse for a flight to Italy.
But he says there is one thing he would like to change in the lottery. He says the jackpot has become much too high and he looks for a way of giving more people the opportunity of winning more.
For the time being, the dream continues, with just one euro. That is the cost of a ticket for a chance to become a multimillionaire.