Page last updated at 15:43 GMT, Friday, 24 October 2008 16:43 UK

Sicilian joy over huge lotto win

By Duncan Kennedy
BBC News, Rome


Italians celebrate lottery win

One of the world's biggest ever lottery jackpots has been won in Italy.

The winning ticket was bought in the city of Catania in Sicily, and is worth 100 million euros ($125 million).

Catania is one of Italy's poorest cities, and when the news broke residents took to the streets singing, dancing and waving flags.

The identity of the winner or winners is unknown. The only known fact is that the lucky ticket was bought from a tobacconist in the city centre.

Having rolled over since April, the huge jackpot became one of the largest seen anywhere in the world.

'Moral obligation'

The local mayor Raffaele Stancanelli said he was delighted for Catania.

Map of Italy and Sicily

"I hope the ticket was bought by many people... and whoever won will feel a moral obligation to do something for the local community," he said.

One consumer rights group said the lottery was ruining families who spent all their money on tickets. Before the draw was made it called for the jackpot to be seized and redistributed.

Already one woman in Catania, who claims to have leukaemia, has placed an advert in the local newspaper asking for a share of the money.

Italy's Federation of Psychologists and Psychotherapists has issued advice saying the ''winner or winners may experience joy but could also feel pain and paranoia unless they handle their winnings carefully".

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